Given the fact that Nagas are a tribal society, conscious and sincere effort must be exerted to forge strong inter-tribal ties. Petty tribalism has undone Naga society and today, Naga tribes, more than ever before, must work together to preserve and build a strong Naga identity. However, such ties should move beyond petty state electoral politics and caution should be made so that the state’s unofficial tribal representational system does not negate the idea and purpose of building inter-tribal ties. It has to be instead exploited to strengthen the Naga society and erase trivial tribal rivalries and petty tribal pride.


The Ao Nagas share boundaries with at least 5 other Naga tribes and this fact in itself offers a great opportunity to strengthen inter-tribal ties. We have nothing to lose by building strong tribal relations with our immediate neighbors. Then, we can look forward to building ties with other Naga tribes with whom we do not share our boundaries. In 2017, we celebrated Moatsü by inviting 1000 guests from the Angami tribe. Such initiatives must be undertaken from time to time with all the other Naga tribes in order to build relations and strengthen our ties. In fact, we must look forward to building ties with fellow Naga tribes beyond the present Nagaland state boundaries.


Meanwhile, we must recognize and promote the age-old relations that some of our villages have had with other Naga tribes since time immemorial. Even during the headhunting days, prior to the arrival of Christianity and British administration, we have had cordial relations with other Naga tribes and villages. We must revisit those relations and start rebuilding from there.


It was a heartwarming experience for Mokokchung Times to learn and write of the ties between Okotso (Lotha) and Mangmetong (Ao) Naga villages. It is hoped that the two villages will continue to nurture and strengthen their relationship and be a beacon of hope for all Nagas, to demonstrate that Nagas can thrive as a big family. We have several other Ao villages that share similar positive stories of mutual trust, respect and cordial relationships.


Most of our villages located along the Tzüla river share similar bonds with the trans-Dikhu villages. In fact, we have the village of Chakpa where the Aos and the Changs coexist within the same village gates. Such positive stories and lived experiences must be projected to counter the negativity that is enveloping Naga society today.


Apart from rebuilding the traditional ties, the church is also obligated to nurture and propagate inter-tribal relations. For all the negativity that is overwhelming Naga society today, we are also presented with the opportunity to be the beacon of hope for rebuilding and redefining Naga peoplehood. Strengthening inter-tribal ties can begin from the individual or institutional or church or apex tribal body levels.



Mokokchung Times

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