Representational image of Naga headgears. | Photo: Commons
Representational image of Naga headgears. | Photo: Commons
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New Delhi: In the Naga community, headgears are a symbol of power, achievement and status. Today, few skilled craftsmen are left to engage in the making of these. Bukhaio Khiamniungan, a 63-year-old man from Nagaland, is one among them.

Khiamniungan, a recipient of the President’s Award and national award for excellence in 1986, fears that the art of making Naga headgears may soon be lost if efforts to preserve it are not made.

Traditionally, the headgears were woven using over 12 materials collected from the wild such as tiger claws, wild boar teeth, hornbill feathers, wild goat hair, bear hair etc. Today, these materials have mostly been replaced with synthetic ones.

“It is very difficult to make antique masterpiece headgear… To make natural dye it is time consuming and also difficult to find so we now depend on synthetic dyes available in the market,” Khiamniungan told the Morung Express.

It takes about a week to make one headgear. It can cost anywhere between Rs 12,000 and Rs 20,000 — from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 some decades ago.

Khiamniungan has a small handicraft stall in the state’s Tuensang town.

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Manipur breaking stigma against transgenders with sporting event

In order to fight social stigma and discrimination, Manipur has been hosting a unique sporting event exclusively for the LGBTQI+ community for the past four years. 

The fourth edition of the two-day Queer Games Northeast 2021 was held in Imphal last week (26-27 March). The event was hosted by Ya_All, an NGO working towards the empowerment of the LGBTQI+ community.

Sadam Hanjabam, the founder of Ya_All, told the Imphal Free Press this event is held every year to create awareness “that transgenders can be included in sports events”. 

Among various sports, the event also included an exhibition match by the first and only queer football team in the country from Manipur.

Chaoba Wahengbam, one the squad members of the transgender football team, said, “I played handball by profession but being a transman, I feel hesitant to play among female category. Since I heard the news of launching a transgender football team (especially transmen), I joined the team and I am glad to play among the trans-community.”

Nagaland cricket captain to play for one of UK’s oldest cricket clubs

Jonathan Rongsen Longkumer, captain of the Nagaland cricket team, has been selected to play for the Morecambe Cricket Club, a UK-based club, in the 2021 season.  

Morecambe Cricket Club was founded in 1889, and is one of the oldest English cricket clubs in Lancashire.

The 35-year-old hails from Akhoya village in Nagaland’s Mokokchung district. The club recently took to its website to announce Longkumer’s entry. It said, “Rongsen, an experienced batsman who can bowl off spin, currently plays for Nagaland in the Ranji Trophy and will join MCC as a replacement for Mitchel Van Buuren.”

Nagaland Deputy Chief Minister Y. Patton took to Twitter to congratulate the player.  

A right-hand batsman, Longkumer had in January become the first Naga to score a double century on the final day of the Ranji Trophy match against Bihar.

In Assam’s eco-friendly polling booths, voters welcomed with saplings

The Assam state election commission has set up eco-friendly polling booths in Cachar district. Here, first-time voters, senior citizens and PWD (persons with disability) voters are welcomed with saplings. 

These booths have also been decorated with non-polluting materials to convey the message about saving the environment. The booths also have handicrafts and handloom materials on display. 

In all, a total of 117 such polling booths have been set up in the district. The district has also created a record with 201 all-women-polling-stations, the highest in the state.

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