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Chumpo Museum set up to showcase tribal culture of Nagaland

By anita nair

Dimapur (Nagaland), Dec.1 (ANI): Chumpo in Nagamese, the language of Nagaland, means 'Morung' or 'bachelors' dormitory'

But in Sovina village near Dimapur, one of the principle cities of Nagaland, the cultural artifacts of Naga tribes are preserved in a Chumpo Museum.

The uniqueness of the museum is that visitors can stay here for the night to acquire a deeper insight into the Naga way of life.

Nagaland has 19 tribes, each having their own distinct culture, and to create awareness about the richness of Nagaland's culture among the younger generation, aware, a Chumpo Museum has been set up in Sovina village.

The museum is the brainchild of Abraham Lotha, a museum anthropologist, whose quest to collect Naga artifacts began in 1990.

Today, he has a wide collection of both traditional and contemporary Naga artifacts.

"The Naga community needs to preserve its culture. There have been many occasions when others have described the culture of Nagas in their books, magazines, events and other functions, both at domestic and international levels. So, we Nagas also need to act to prevent an erosion of our culture, and this museum, is our way of representing Naga culture," said Abraham Lotha, the curator of the Chumpo Museum.

The museum has Naga artifacts dating back to the 18th century, including ancient log drums, spears, bows and arrows of a Naga headhunter warrior, traditional rice beer containers, traditional handloom, rice pounders and many other wooden artifacts depicting the cultural history of Naga tribes are preserved at the museum.

Paintings by well-known Naga painters Pheaso and Iris Yingzen adorn the museum walls.

The architecture of the building reflects the Naga way of life.

Lotha says young Naga children need to know their culture.

"Those living in urban areas like Dimapur and Kohima, particularly children, have not seen the traditional artifacts of Naga society. So, here is a place where they can come and see how their ancestors lived. The objects that are placed here, can tell a lot of stories about Naga culture, which can help them, promote and preserve their culture," Lotha said.

Lotha's initiative is expected to play an important role in promoting and preserving Nagaland's rich culture among future generations. (ANI)

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