Making Sense:Re-imaginingMorungCulture andTranslation of Ao-Naga Folksongs
challenged by the social scientists these days. The Nagas 1 for one are commonly documented through the perspective of anthropological paradigms and consistently judged in scientific circles to the most barbarous races in existence. They were seen as not capable of abstract thinking, their art and artefacts as all primitive and devoid of any aesthetic quality. Hence, a sense of obligation drove the British to morally and materially uplift the Nagas and catch up with the European civilization
... ean civilization which was guaranteed and was widely accepted as the "silent referent." 2 Besides, various factors represented by British invasion, Christian proselytization, and the liberal education of the Western model have adversely impacted the corpus of the Nagas" rich customs, beliefs, practices and oral tradition. One such occurrence is the disintegration of the Morung, a unique traditional Educational Institution that served as the important foundation of the society. Morung was the cornerstone of the Naga cultural heritage that stood as one of the oldest and strongest means of social control and served as an agency for all round socialization through which the individual acquired knowledge, social skills and values and conformed to the norms and roles required for the integration into a group or community. It was an institution where the system of principles governing morality and acceptable were taught to the community drawn from the rich tradition of oral literatures. It also enforced strict training and discipline like that of a military academy and strict rules and regulation were maintained and severe punishments were given to the lawbreaker. For the Colonial administrator-ethnographers, this indigenous institution executed as a Public School. However, the activities and functions of the Morung were quite the opposite. The villagemen would go to the field during the day time and the life and activities inside the institution starts from the evening. This institution provided many a coaching process which covered the entire aspects of a man"s life and aimed at producing responsible citizens in Naga society where a man was taught history, science, political science, economics, philosophy, religion and military arts of war and techniques of fighting.