A Brief Appraisal of Cultural Heritage of Ao Nagas in Nagaland

Pranjal Boruah

Abstract


Cultural heritage encompasses the qualities and attributes of places that haveaesthetic, historic, scientific or social value for past, present or future generations.Cultural heritage is also described as ways of living developed by a community andpassed on from generation to generation, including customs, practices, places, objects,artistic expressions and values. Cultural heritage is often expressed as either intangibleor tangible cultural heritage. Cultural heritage are those aspects that are unique to aparticular culture (e.g. ingredients, preparation methods, dishes or services of foods).Thus cultural heritage is those aspects which have significance for the existing socialhistory.

Considering the above facts, in the present paper an attempt has been made todescribe certain aspects of socio-cultural life – e.g. religious beliefs, values, attitudes,food habits and dress pattern – of the Ao Nagas of Nagaland. The empirical datapresented in this paper has been generated through field investigation in threehomogeneous Ao Naga villages namely Lirmen, Yajang-A and Yajang-B underJapokong range in Mokokchung district. Standard anthropological tools were used inthe collection of field data.

The Ao Nagas have embraced Christianity, yet they are still maintaining some oftheir traditional activities. They are still continuing their traditional festivals. The paperalso reveals the prevalent traditional age group system among these Ao Nagas. All thesebehaviour reflect their ethnic identity.

Key words: Heritage, Ao Naga, Nagaland, Age group


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