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Kohima: Preparations were in full swing in Nagaland for the famed Hornbill festival, which will be held with much grandeur this time after two years of subdued celebrations, an official said on Tuesday.

The festival will be held from December 1 to 10 at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, around 12 km from state capital Kohima, said advisor for Tourism and Art & Culture H Khehovi Yepthomi.

Yepthomi chaired a coordination meeting with the tribal hohos on Monday on the preparations for the festival, the annual tourism promotional event of the state government that brings together the Naga tribes. This will be the 23rd edition of the festival, which began in 2010.

The celebrations were disrupted in 2020 and 2021, but this year’s Hornbill Festival will be a grand affair with new ideas and concepts, Yepthomi said.

In 2020, the festival was celebrated virtually for three days due to the pandemic, while last year the festival was called off midway after the killing of civilians at Oting in Mon district.

The Hornbill Festival, which has achieved global fame, promotes the rich and colorful culture of Nagaland and its tribes, Yepthomi said.

Asking the tribal hohos or organisations to start repairing their morungs (huts) in Kisama, and prepare for the festival, he said everyone should contribute towards its grand success.

Kisama Heritage Village is designed to resemble the map of Nagaland with tribal morungs allocated as per their geographical locations, he said.

With the Tikhir tribe getting recognition as a major tribe, a space has been earmarked for them to set up the 18th morung, he added.

At present, Nagaland has 18 recognised major tribes.

The seven tribal hohos under Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) did not attend Monday’s meeting alleging negligence towards them during the festivities. They have also declared that they would not participate in the Hornbill Festival.

Yepthomi said the government will speak to ENPO functionaries on the matter soon. “We hope they will join the celebrations,” he said.

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