Tuesday, September 27, 2022

A jaunt to Zapami

A stupendous trip much beyond my expectation, was my visit to Zapami. This trip is a privilege never to be obliterated but to be acknowledged, much thanks to our college departmental trip. This one day trip to Zapami has been a wonderful learning experience for me where I was able to explore the rich cultural heritage of the village and the Naga culture in general.
Zapami village is one of the Kuzhami Naga villages of Chakhesang tribe under Pfutsero sub-division of Phek district. It is about 53 kms via Kidima road from Kohima.
Lush green valley and rice terrace surrounding the site stands as a captivation for the onlookers with its enchanting scenery.One striking feature of the village was the grand horn-like projection of the houses. According to the tradition, only those family which held the feast of merit can embellish their houses with such kind of decorations. Most of the houses have this horn-like structure which proves that in the past, the village was economically affluent. Much to my excitement, I could explore some olden household items like pounding table, wooden cot (carved out of a single wood), vats for brewing rice beer and big granaries for storing the grains.
Of all the sites, what pulled me towards the edge of attraction was the Village Heritage Museum which serves as a repository for preserving the rich cultural heritage. The antiques in the museum ranges from ancient, probably hundreds if not few thousand years to recent times like that of the World War II remains. The items include weapons and shields of ancient warfare, instruments of war and friendship treaties in the form of spears and Bibles, agricultural implements, weaving tools, potteries of different sizes and utilities, metal vessels, bamboo baskets and mats, musical instruments and some remnants of World War ll like empty bomb shells, gas masks, metal water containers, fuel tanks, etc. The collection of these antiques gives us an opportunity to perceive and ponder the ambiance and the way of life of the olden times.
I was privileged to meet and interact with the oldest lady in the village who is in her 90’s and learnt about the culture of making yarn for weaving from the sting nettle fibre, thebvo. It is learnt that the Zapami village is one of the early and the original traditional knowledge holders and producers of thebvo weavers.
It is an indubitable verity that from the first impression itself, the village enthralled me with its scenic beauty and the exploration of the sites one after the other was quite an intriguing adventure. Moreover, the exploration of these relics and sites instigated my conceptualized knowledge into a practical viewpoint for the study of such historical concept.
Overall, my visit to Zapami village has been a delightful and a lucrative experience. This experience has definitely served as a catalyst towards expanding the horizon of my curiosity and a broader perspective of preserving the rich cultural resources of my motherland such as the Zapami village.
Ergo, if you are on for a fascinating and a lucrative experience, I would recommend you to visit Zapami Village, aptly alluded as one of the Naga Ancestral Home.
Maongnaro Longkumer, Modern College Kohima, BA 4th Semester