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Shake off 'backward' tag, galand CM tells 'headhunters' tribe

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 April 2017 12:00 AM GMT

Kohima, April 4: galand Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu on Tuesday called upon the Konyaks, once known as the fierce ga tribe, to remove their ‘backward’ tag and move forward with the rest of the ga tribes. The Konyaks were known to the outside world as headhunters until this practice was banned in 1960s. Beheading their enemies and hanging these skulls on their walls for pride was once considered a rite of passage for young boys. Facial tattoos were the attributes of warriors, as were the ear piercings with inserted wild boar tusks, war hats made of animal fur, necklaces with small bronze skulls representing the number of heads they had cut off and other decorations such as hornbill feathers.

“There should not be backward or forward tribe, as labelling with the tag ‘backward’ will affect the psychological feelings of dependency among the people,” Shurhozelie, who is from the Angami ga tribe, said. Shurhozelie, who was gracing Gracing Aoleang Monyu festival, the premier festival of the Konyak gas, in Mon district bordering Myanmar, said that the gas should live as one family.

The Chief Minister called upon the younger generation to work in a way that the “backwardness” tag was removed and let the ga people move forward as one family. Speaking on the Aoleang festival, the Chief Minister said that this is the time to invoke God’s blessings for health of the people and for rich crops. “It is a time to visit one another, to feast with friends, kinsmen and family members; it is also a time to make friends with one another. Therefore, he had come to strengthen the bonds of friendship with the Konyak people,” Shurhozelie said.

The Chief Minister also maintained that many ethnic groups around the world had lost their identity and even their language, but it was encouraging to see the gas were still preserving it. Earlier, iugurating the Konyak Union office building, the Chief Minister said that Konyak gas, being one of the biggest tribes among the gas, should work for the unity of the gas. “gas had been scattered to other parts of the country as well as to other country (Myanmar) by the British for their own administrative conveniences,” Shurhozelie said.

“However,” he said, “we need to integrate all the gas living outside the state through democratic means and we need to maintain good relationship with our neighbours.” Shurhozelie also announced that during the current fincial year, the state government would take up the Mon-mtola road and declare it as a tiol highway. He said that several roads would be connected this tiol highway. However, the Chief Minister rued that despite the government spending huge amounts of money, the workmanship was not satisfactory. NEC Energy Pvt. Ltd. Director Sapu Battacharya called upon the people to foster unity and peace among the various sections of the society. “Without peaceful environment, there can be no development. We must cooperate with each other in order to bring developmental changes in all the areas,” he said. (IANS)

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