Kohima, Dec. 5 (EMN): The road between Chiechama and Chiephobozou was a sea of people in colourful traditional attires on Wednesday; with the traditional chants and distinct Naga yodel filling the air. It was a rare moment as all the 31 villages under Northern Angami had come together to participate in a stone-pulling ceremony.
It may be mentioned that stone-pulling is an age-old tradition of many tribes in Nagaland, particularly the Tenyimi Nagas. Once again, this tradition came alive as the Northern Angami Youth Organisation (NAYO) in collaboration with the Tourism department incorporated the stone-pulling ceremony as part of the Hornbill Festival.
Convenor of the organising committee, Kekhriengulie Theünuo informed Eastern Mirror that the stone weighs over 12 tonnes, measuring about 20 ft long, 2 ft and 3 inches thick, and 4 ft and 6 inches width. The massive stone was pulled by the male members of the 31 villages starting from Chiechama to Chiephobozou which is about 3.5 km. Theünuo said that over 3,000 people (both male and female) took part in the ceremony.
He thanked the Tourism department for incorporating the unique event into the Hornbill Festival and making the ceremony a success. He added that they had built a traditional house this time around with an aim to motivate youngsters and create awareness about the culture and traditions of the Nagas.
With the Hornbill Festival going ‘plastic free,’ so was the event of the day. Theünuo said 90% of the items used during the event were eco-friendly, including paper cups.
Apart from taking photographs and videos, many tourists at some point clutched onto the rope and assisted the male members in pulling the stone. On the other hand, female members carried the traditional basket and chanted along, giving support to the stone pullers.