LAND OF ANGH
As India moves ever so rapidly into the international limelight, for its isolated North Eastern regions 'identity' is at a crossraods. In Nagaland, a frontier region with Burma, in just two generations, the rich tribal customs, beliefs and practices that defined the area in its fight for independence have all but disappeared, for better and for worse. While culture and identity are in constant transition, the face of the blue misty hills of this area is changing at a rate that could leave many aspects of the original and complex heritage gone without a trace.
Organized religion, western education and increased connectivity, along with a window of peace in an otherwise conflict affected region, has meant that many of the youth have deserted the rural areas. With this in mind, we enter the world of a young man belonging to the Konyak tribe of the remote village of Wanching in the province of Mon, as he celebrates an age old harvest festival known as ‘Aoleang’. A celebration of the abundance of spring and the community’s connection to nature, but also a time where each generation communicates the history and life lessons to the next; where songs, craftsmanship, survival techniques and mythology held equal importance in a tradition that until recently held no written language.
His father is the 'Angh' or 'King' and as a Prince, Aaonye and his clan hold great respect throught their ivariable link to the knowledge, cosmology and understanding of the original culture. But as he himself moves towards the city in search of a different life, we are witness to the strength the global urban pull, and how, as communities move towards more profit based societies, we may also be loosing a valuable awareness of the planet we have come to known so well.
Through the lack of engagement with his culture conflicting with the pride held by a prince among men, we gain an insight into the Naga way of life as it progressively vanishes, all while coming to terms with the fact that this phenomenon is more than just within the Land of Angh.