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This Manipur artist is building a ‘tattoo village’ to revive Nagaland’s dying art

Snippets from the vibrant Northeast that capture politics, culture, society and more in the eight states.

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New Delhi: Moranngam Khaling, known as Mo Naga, a prominent tattoo artist from Manipur has been building what he calls ‘The tattoo village’ in Imphal.

A long and cherished dream project of the artist, ‘The tattoo village’ will be his attempt at preserving the tattooing tradition of the Nagas and other tribal cultures of the Northeast. He began work on the project during the lockdown last year.

In 2015, Khaling became one of three Indian artists to be featured in The World Atlas of Tattoo (published by the Yale University Press). It chronicles a list of 100 notable tattoo artists from across the world.

His new project will also have what he calls a ‘tattoo garden’ — consisting of plants that are used to produce tattoo ink.

“I had been collecting these plants by travelling across the Northeast before the (Covid) restrictions. All these saplings are ready now. The wood has been kept aside for the construction of the furniture. The cottages are ready. I have moved closer to the site of the planned venture as it is in an interior place. I have made a cottage in a connecting village. The architects are waiting to be a part of this project once the situation improves,” he told InsideNE.

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New snake species with ‘bindi’ found in Assam, first discovery in 100 years

A new snake species has been discovered in Assam in over a 100 years. Named Rhabdophis bindi for having a ‘bindi’ like spot on its neck, the new species was discovered by researchers from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun; Natural History Museum, London; and the University of Texas, Austin.

“The species is named due to its unique red marking on the back of the neck reminiscent of the red beauty spot adorning foreheads of Indian women called ‘bindi’,” Abhijit Das of WII told the Hindustan Times.

The species was first found in 2007 near the Barail Hill Range in Assam’s Cachar district. Later, 10 other specimens were discovered and studied.

“It took 14 years from the time it was first seen till it was classified as a new species because we had to compare the new one with all other closely related species found in different countries and had to study many specimens from across the world. It also took time to do genetic analysis of the species,” Das added.

The state last saw the discovery of a new snake species in 1910 by British herpetologist Frank Wall. He had discovered the red striped Oligodon erythrorhachis.

For Tolkien fans, there is now a ‘Hobbit Home’ in Nagaland

Asakho Chase, a 29-year-old adventure enthusiast from Nagaland, has built what he called a ‘Hobbit Home’, drawing inspiration from the fantasy series The Lord of the Rings written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Chase started building the house in the interiors of the state’s Khonoma village for his personal use in November last year. The aim was to “spend his holidays there”. But people soon started showing interest and wanted to visit it.

He has received over 50 bookings so far. The house has a kitchen and other basic facilities, and can accommodate about seven people.

“I do not want people to have very high expectations because it is very basic. It is not luxurious but if you want to stay, it is adjustable … I want people to appreciate nature, enjoy the place, but also be responsible where they go,” he told The Morung Express.

“It was built in the simplest way possible … in the pure wild,” he added.

Assam woman on a 90-day trek to Ladakh for peace

Anjali Das, from Assam’s Mirza town, is on a 90-day-long journey on foot from her home state to Ladakh. Her aim is to spread the message of peace.

Das, who began her journey on 13 August, will cover 2,800 kilometres. A sports and adventure enthusiast, she has undertaken this journey under the Mission Fit India initiative.

“I will aim to walk 50 km daily during my journey. I will complete the trip alone,” she was quoted as saying.

Das has walked over 140 km in the past five days and is slated to cross the Assam border by Wednesday.

“I want to make people aware of the benefits of walking. This will be a lifetime experience for me to know my India. I want to spread peace and brotherhood amongst the people of my country,” she reportedly said.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)

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