An Interview about the Wood Carvings at the Garo Morung
The morungs of Nagaland are examples of the vernacular architecture of each tribe. Morungs are youth dormitories; living in a morung used to be an essential part of the education of Naga youth. All youth of a particular village or khel were expected to live at the morung, learning about their culture. The morungs were constructed at the village entrance or in a spot to be effectively guarded. Beginning at puberty, young boys and girls were admitted to their respective gender dormitories. The Naga culture, customs, and traditions were transmitted from generation to generation through folk music and dance, folk tales and oral tradition, wood-carving and weaving.
During the Hornbill Festival, every Naga community is represented in their respective Morungs which showcase their particular architecture, crafts, lifestyles, food, performances and more. The morungs are hubs of activity, commerce, social life and celebration during the Hornbill Festival. In this video shot in Kisama Village during the annual Hornbill Festival in 2018, Sharmila explains the significance of the various wooden sculptures at the morung of the Garo tribe. Wooden dragons, tigers, lizards, and lovers tell many stories.
For a related video on the Garo Tribe see: https://youtu.be/xBy-01SniPs
Video created by Tarini Manchanda, illustrations by Bhavya Kumar, text editing Ketan Kumar, ideation and support Neha Paliwal.