By Vibou Ganguly
Kohima, Jan.28 : Blending hues of Naga culture with unity, people of Nagaland celebrated Chuthuni, the premier festival of Mao Naga. It is the festival of purification, invoking God's blessing and merry-making.
Chuthuni, the post harvest festival of Mao Nagas, is described to be an occasion to celebrate success and victory over death and destruction.
Organised by Mao Union of Kohima, the festival is marked with cultural songs, dances, indigenous games, and display of Mao traditional attire at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama.
The year the fesitval's motto was "Unity, the need of the hour".
A.Daili, the convener of Mao festival, said: "So many people have come for this festival. They belong not only to Kohima town but also different villages and communities and different NGOs. So, we are really enjoying this important occasion. I am sure we will be conducting this festival in future also."
Hundreds of visitors from different parts of the country and abroad attended the festival. The main attraction, however, was Leru Kaphre, a mock war.
Lokho, a resident of Punanamci Village, said: "Those were the days, when our forefathers used to face the war, today we are facing the war within. We want peace. There is no doubt about it and we have to find it."
"We want that everyone should live in peace just like we once used to or the way we enjoy peace during festival time. That is the importance of such festival," he added.
A fashion show was organized on the ocassion. Various traditional as well as modern costumes and outfits of the Mao tribe were used by models Nagas love their tradition, and they also welcome an element of modernity in their function.
Nelia, one of the visitors, said: "I am really enjoying the celebration of this festival. Everyone is happy to be here."
Nagaland is promoting its cultural heritage to promote tourism in the State. The initiative is paying off as the number of domestic and foreign tourists visiting the State have gone up considerably.