Kohima: The ongoing 19th Hornbill Festival has become a treat for culture aficionados. On the third day of the ‘festival of festivals’ being held in Kisama village near the capital city of Kohima in Nagaland on Monday, various tribes from the state brought out their unique cultural performances in front of packed audiences.
Sachindanand Joshi, member secretary, Indira Gandhi National University Centre for Arts (IGNUCA), was the chief guest at the show. He said Hornbill Festival showcases the talent and creativity of the Nagas which add to the rich cultural heritage of the Indian civilisation. Explaining that IGNUCA documents, preserves and conserve the various arts of the country and Indian origin across the world, Joshi expressed his happiness on being associated with the festival.
The cultural programme began with the Phita dance performed by the Angami tribe. Phita was supposed to be a warrior dance performed by only by the men folk. However, with the changing times, women have also started performing alongside men.
The ‘hornbill dance’, which was performed by the Ao tribe to honour the hornbil bird that is regarded as a symbol of valour, faithfulness and noble disposition, was much admired by the audience. The dance imitates the footsteps of the bird as it feasts leisurely on top of the tree with pride, hopping from one branch to another.
Another performance that stole the show was Kubo Lichi Kemhou Ketsu (blowing of the traditional trumpet), a cultural item performed by the Chakesang tribe. The trumpet is blown signaling that the newly harvested food items are ready for consumption and the time for festivities has arrived.
The Chang tribe demonstrated Tongten Senbu, the pulling of traditional log drum. Traditionally, log drums were used for the announcement of victory during war, natural calamities and even for the death of a person. Participants sing folk songs while pulling the log drum.
Among the other performances included the Wangala by the Garo tribe, Leaphet by the Konyak troupe, EkhyoShari dance by the Lothas and Naü-ü Asho by the Phoms, among others.