Cultural and Tradition

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The month of January is the coldest time in Myanmar. The cold is more severe in mountainous region like Lahe`. Lahe` in the Naga Hills of north-western Myanmar is 4,313 ft above sea level and 25· 40' north latitude.
The fit and healthy Naga nationals brave every odd of weather and terrain. This year, delegates from far and near converge on Lahe` against the odds. Some from Layshi walked for 15 days along the mountain footpaths and those from Namyung ten days to join the celebrations of Naga traditional New Year Festival.
Bonfire dance is an important event in the celebrations of the New Year. The evening of January 15th was very cold, but it was transcending with beauty. Ten thousand Naga nationals and honorable guests including hundreds of tourists converged on the venue.
cultural-10Visitors gazed at the colorfully attired Naga nationals, over awed by their simplicity and straight forwardness. There are over 80 clans in Naga region, but tribally they may be grouped in eight major groups.
As the bonfire is lit at the centre of the festival ground, groups of Naga nationals take turns systematically to dance round the bonfire, singing happily traditional songs. The dances are rhythmic and lively. Spectators are enthralled to join the dance.
Rice wine is a plenty at the dance. Roasted myth on, bison and boar meat and fish are served with wine. The sharing of rice wine is the sealing of goodwill between friends and strangers alike. After all, the festival itself is celebrated to bring friendship, unity and amity.

Naga national traditions, including the bonfire dance, are preserved through the tests of time. It is a rare opportunity to observe ancient traditions unspoiled.

Naga Traditional Handicrafts

cultural-11In connection with Naga New Year Festival, Naga traditional handicrafts and cultural showrooms were opened at Lahe' Sports ground. The handicrafts showroom displayed blacksmith, woodcarving and traditional crafts of bamboo, rattan and fur.
There are various shapes and types of knives for various uses. The smithy or workshop consists of bellows employing twin bamboo cylinders and charcoal is used at the furnace.
Iron rods are heated and then made into knives of sorts. Knives are kept in sheaths or hung on the loincloth. They are for various uses to bear in festive occasions varying in shapes and types. Just look at the knife borne by the middle dancer.
In woodcarving, human figures were sculpted since early times leaving behind Naga statuettes.
cultural-12A demonstration of baskets and mat weaving by Naga nationals is also very interesting. Household articles made of bamboo and other crafts are also shown.
Naga New Year Festival is celebrated annually. The festival is always great event for Naga nationals to celebrate their achievements to ponder over the future tasks a0nd forge unity and amity.

There are areas of interest to be discovered. All are invited to come and see for yourself at your convenience.

 

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