According to oral history, the Poumai Naga underwent a wave of migration from Makhel in two directions: northeast and southeast. The descendants of Liio (Lepaona) headed southeast and settled at Koide village under the chieftainship of Napou-Rakhuo.

“Following their departure from Makhel, Koide village emerged as a new beginning for the Lepona groups, where they resettled and dispersed to various regions. This dispersion marked a crucial chapter in the history of the Lepaona community, facilitating the spread of Poumai Naga culture, traditions, and heritage to different areas,” said Dr Daili Neli, Head of the Sociology Department, Asufii Christian Institute (ACI), Senapati.

Thus, Koide Village stands as a symbol of resilience and continuity, representing the enduring legacy of the Poumai Naga people as they navigated through periods of migration and settlement.

Recognizing Koide’s historical significance to the Poumai Naga community, the Department of Sociology, ACI conducted fieldwork at Koide Village in the present state of Manipur from 23 to 24 March 2024. The fieldwork focused on the themes of marriage, gender, and demography within Koide village.

ACI Sociology Department

First-semester students delved into understanding the institution of marriage within the context of Koide Village. They found that traditional marriage practices coexist with modern influences, showcasing a delicate balance between tradition and change. While arranged marriages remained prevalent, there was a growing trend towards individual agency in partner selection.

Third-semester students focused on investigating gender dynamics prevalent in the village, exploring gender roles, responsibilities, and inequalities within the household and the broader community. Gender roles remained traditional, yet women were found to be gradually gaining empowerment.

Sixth-semester students undertook the task of analyzing the demographic structure reflecting an aging population, with implications for healthcare, eldercare, and intergenerational support systems within Koide Village. Like many rural communities, they found that Koide village is grappling with demographic shifts characterized by an aging population. The phenomenon of youth outmigration to urban centers has led to an imbalance in age distribution, with a significant proportion of the population comprising elderly individuals.

The total number of research teams consisted of 37 students from various semesters, accompanied by three faculty members who supervised the students throughout the research.

ACI Sociology Department conducts fieldwork at historically significant Poumai Naga village of Koide

Dr Daili Neli, Head of the Sociology Department at ACI, emphasized the significance of such fieldwork experiences in nurturing well-rounded sociologists. “Fieldwork at Koide Village has been an enriching experience for our students, enabling them to develop critical analytical skills and cultural sensitivity essential for addressing contemporary societal challenges,” remarked Dr P Wungnaongam, Principal, ACI.

The Department of Sociology, ACI expressed gratitude to the residents of Koide Village for their warm hospitality and cooperation throughout the fieldwork period.

Mokokchung Times

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