Saturday, 30 January 2010

Frontier Land

Downtown Mon

Northern Nagaland is home to the Konyak tribe and this is truly frontier land. It is the least developed and least modernized part of the state still clinging on to traditions and ways of lives long gone in the more developed and urbanized southern areas. This is in almost every sense pretty much as far as you can be removed from Delhi and the Indian heartland without leaving the country: Geographically, religiously, economically, politically, culturally and linguistically you are in a different place altogether.

We had our base in the district capital of Mon, which despite having less than 20,000 inhabitants is the largest town of the area. It is a market town so there are lots of stores, but most deal only in very basic products.

My mother exploring the local stores

View over central Mon

There are only two guest houses with very basic facilities. In fact in for the first 36 hours we stayed in Mon we had no electricity as Mon suffers from chronic power outages. When power finally returned we could clearly hear people cheering and celebrating all over town - only for the party to come to an abrupt hold 15 minutes later when the lights went out again. This time power would not come back before we left town.

After dark entertainment without electricity. But lots of candles and battery operated lamps.

Early morning jungle mist seen from our guest house terrace

One of our simple rooms in day-time. Very basic but fairly clean.

Mon is not that special, so it was only a base for us. We came to see the semi-traditional life of the villages around Mon, including a very special group of people who I will return to in my next blog post.

Landscape on the way from Mon to the villages. All the little grey dots on the hill sides are little shacks like the ones you see in the front

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