Kohima: The fourth edition of Thuwuni Festival, a three-day cultural and artistic extravaganza, began at Pughoboto in Nagaland on Thursday.
‘Thuwuni’ in Sumi Naga dialect means ‘to progress’. The festival is celebrated to “promote, preserve and sustain the traditional culture and identity” of the Nagas, particularly the Sumi Nagas, who are popularly known for their rich artifacts, food, dance and music, making them one of the most vibrant tribes in the state.
The cultural spectacle was inaugurated by governor PB Acharya amidst the presence of several other state officials. The festival is an Alobo Naga initiative, a popular musician from the state, and is managed by his music school, Musik-A.
Speaking to EastMojo, Dr Hotokhu Chishi, joint director, directorate of health & family welfare, said “We are the roots of the Sumi Nagas and not the flowers. Our history is hidden within us. We claim to be the pioneers. And no Sema will go against this belief.”
Promoting the indigenous games that originated from the Aphuyemi in the festival, he added: “History must be preserved, researched and our existence must be based on our history.”
The first day witnessed traditional war dances, indigenous arts and games like Kimilipu (greased pole climbing), Amih Kukulah (fire-making), Akiki (Sumi kick-fighting) and top spinning followed by the Thuwuni Music Festival that saw performances from various artistes of the state. The festival will conclude on November 17.
Interestingly, the festival coincides with Ahuna, the Sumi Naga festival which is celebrated post the harvest season. While ‘Tuluni’ and ‘Ahuna’ are the common Sumi festivals, Thuwuni is celebrated by the 24 villages that fall under the Pughoboto sub-division of Zunheboto district.
These villages are called ‘Aphuyemi’ where the Sumi Nagas are believed to have originated from. Thuwuni festival is organised to promote the culture and traditions that originated from the Pughoboto area.