Life Behind the Monolith Culture of the Chakhesang Community

Setolu Tunyi


The Nagas depend on their history through oral narration due to the unavailability of their written script.  Like any other communities in the world, they have their own way of preserving their tradition, that is, verbal narration and erecting monoliths.  The people believe that the monolith they have erected will be the living proof of the glory, the living history to the coming generations.  The monoliths that are found among the communities of the Nagas have their distinct features.  They are rough, shapeless, pictorial or script engraved on the monolith are not found and the size and shape vary.  The purpose of erecting monoliths among the Nagas may differ from one community to another community like some community erect monolith for rituals, some to show prosperity and get recognition from the society, some to signify death and birth etc.  Whatever may be the reason, the monoliths that survive for ages till today is acting a living tale to tell the people about the past life.  The monolith reflects the past life of the community.  This article is intended to study how monoliths play a pivotal role in (re)discovering and (re)structuring their past.  The article is based on the personal fieldwork undertaken for the research purpose.


Monoliths, community, oral tradition, the feast of merit

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