Nagaland

Hega Festival of the Zeliang community witnesses carrying of ‘Nkangkie’ by the bride Tohtoh Herie

Peren, February 13 (NE): The designed timber-like carried by the bride is called “Nkangkie”. There is a particular tree for making Nkangkie. Only the brides who is married off according to custom are eligible to carry that, which is why not every festival of the year people get to witness this ceremony, explained a local from the community.

On the first day of the “Hega” festival all menfolk would go looking for that tree and by evening it will be brought to the village and crafted by experts among the villagers while some chop the branches of the same to be carried along.

On the second day, the bride is made to carry the ‘Nkangkie’ from one end of the village to her clan’s Morung followed by all female and male with the chopped firewood. While the bride and the damsels march, the male folk yield in harmony and walk her to the clan’s Morung. A person able to carry Nkangkie is counted the most fortunate because the entire activities done is a sign of good preparatory, sending-off with blessings and wishes from the entire villagers or community.

Also, The same ‘Nkangkie’ cannot be carried twice. For every bride the villagers craft afresh because it is a symbol of purity and sanctity to the awaited new life. Thus, once the Nkangkie is carried, it is preserved only at the Morung.

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