Naga Culture and History displayed at Indigenous Festival in Loudun, France
For the past three years, the Fondation Anako has hosted an indigenous peoples festival in the heart of the Pays-de-la-Loire, in France. Starting on 7 June and ending on 1 July of this year (2018), the festival showcased a wide variety of films documenting the cultures of indigenous peoples from all over the world. From South America, to Asia, to Africa, the festival created a mind-opening opportunity for locals to explore cultures of various native peoples from around the globe. On 30 June 2018, Saturday of the finale weekend, most events focused on UNPO’s member, the Nagalim community, with special guest Visier Sanyü of the Angami Naga tribe.
Visier opened the evening with traditional Angami Naga chants, leading into the first of the night’s two films, entitled “The Return of the Sacred Tamborine”. The film documented Visier’s long journey to encounter another Naga tribe, the Khiamniungan, that lives in the summits of the Patkai mountains, within the Burmese delimitation. After days of difficult trekking to the gate of the Khiamniungan Naga village, Visier and his team were welcomed for a special ceremony, where Visier himself was welcomed as a chief of the Khiamniungan, uniting the two tribes in peace.
The second film, “The Day of Celebration Naga Mountains”, explored the rich cultural practices of the Zeliangrong Naga, who live near the northeastern Indian mountain tops. The Zeliangrong Naga are comprised of three tribes: the Zemi, the Liangmei, and the Rongmei. Most Naga tribes converted to the Christian Baptist Church in the 1950s and 1960s. However, Zeliangrong have managed to preserve their animist beliefs through Rani Gandiliu's teachings. Even so, pressure is growing for most tribes to “modernise”, for their children to attend school, and follow suit of the tribes at lower altitudes.
Written by Madeline Vander Velde