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Festivals

Festivals and Dances of different tribes of Tamenglong

 
 

Festivals

Festivals and Dances of the Zeliangrong are closely linked up with religion, which is associated with their economic vocation and socio-cultural ethos. Festivals reflect different stages of agricultural activities, here talents, physical strength are expressed. Every month there is a festival.

Listed below are some of the festivals:

   
 
 Gan-Ngai
 Rih-Ngai (Chaga Ngai)
 Gudui-Ngai
 Banruhmei
   
 

Gan-Ngai

    This festival is celebrated in the month of December-January after harvest for 5 (five) days. Blowing horn herald the festival, fresh fire is made with the ancient friction method and distributed in every household. Villagers, irrespective of age dressed in their best attire, keep up the dance and songs, intercepting only by short intervals of repose and break dedicated to feasting.

   
 

Rih-ngai: (Chaga Ngai)

    Celebrate during January-February is this War festival which is exclusively for male. No stranger is allowed to enter the village. Men abstain from sexual intercourse and foods cooked by women are not taken. An interesting feature is Raangh-Kapmei or shooting at an effigy of a warrior with pointed bamboo splits. It is believed that one who hit the effigy on:

   
 
  • the head, will be successful in war.
  • the chest, will be successful in hunting.  
  • the abdomen, will be lucky in cultivation, etc.
   
  Likewise there are altogether seven segments on the effigy, which they believed would reveal their fortune of the year.    
 

Gudui-Ngai:

    Performed during the seed-sowing season in April. After completion of task like clearance of jungle for cultivation everyone will drink juice (dui) of ginger (Gu). Tug of war is performed between male and female as a symbolic representation of competition between God and Goddess for possessing the paddy. If the girls win it indicates a good harvest.

   
       
 

Banruhmei & Tarang:

These are two feasts of merit performed by one who is bold, brave, philanthropist, generous and rich enough to feed the whole village. It is believed that if a man could perform both the feasts of merit during his lifetime, he is supposed to have accomplished his life's work.

During Banruhmei various songs and dances are performed observing strict forms. The entire villagers, irrespective of age, will participate the feast, which may last a few weeks. The wife of the host will perform a special dance with a rice beer cistern of gourd, pouring it out rhythmically.

Tarang (or Kaisumei) can be performed only by those who have performed Banruhmei, if he still can afford. Here the special house of merit called Tarang-kai is constructed.

 

   
 

Dances

The rich cultural heritage of the Zeliangrong is reflected in their varieties of art specially dances performed during their festivals. Dances are different in their steps, forms & seasons. Zeliangrong enjoy dancing throughout the day and the night.

   
      Costumes are generally colourful along with ornaments and feathers of Hornbill, which according to mythology was transformed from an old orphan boy, Guiliang  
  Deep thudding of drums shake the ground underfoot & jar the body. Endless steps and forms under the moonlight and glares of the torches, dances of the night is quite an experience.    
  Zeiliangrong use a violin like musical instrument called Nrah to give accompany to songs .    
 

Some of the popular dances of the Zeliangrong are as below:

   
 
Jaopa lam
Victory dance.
   
 
Ri lam
War dance.
   
 
Hansiangmai lam
Bamboo dance.
   
 
Rangdai Lam
Dance of Hornbill.
   
 
Mangrelim
Dance of Fly.
   
 
Khuairuna lam
Bee's dance.
   
 
Tariang lam
Spinning Dance.
   
 
Ga lam
Crab dance.
   
 
Maukana lam
Hawk dance.
   
 
Makhom lam
Fertility dance.
   
         
 
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Contents Provided by District Administration Tamenglong.
E-mail:mntgl@nic.in