Longwa Village of Nagaland enjoys dual citizenship!
“One day there will be no borders, no boundaries, no flags and no countries and the only passport will be the heart.” said Carlos Santana.
India is full of odd things, bizarre cultures, and few places where oddness resides peacefully. One such place is northwestern part of Nagaland, here interestingly enough, lives Konyak tribe who enjoy the liberty of dual citizenship- one from India and other from Myanmar! They serve dual allegiance to India and Myanmar. This village of Nagaland is located on the Indo-Myanmar border and do you know that people cross over to either country on a daily basis that too without any visas! Some of them even have their houses that are on either sides of the both countries. Enjoy the freedom of hopping borders without an issue here in Longwa Village! So, it is quite reasonable to assume that the Konyak tribe really lives an interesting life. So let’s just dive into their world to know what it really looks like!
Interesting facts about Longwa Village and Konyak Tribe:
One of the most fascinating fact about the Konyak Tribe is that the Indo- Myanmar border passes just between the Longwa village, separating it into two parts. And this border stretches just on the home of none other than the king or the ‘Angh’ of the place. Yes! Nagaland still has the king reign who rules more than 70 villages falling on the either sides of the countries. He dines in Myanmar and sleeps in India, because his kitchen falls on the land of Myanmar whereas bedroom in India! He has a large family of 60 wives and numerous kids. Some of the king’s sons has joined the Myanmar army which serves as a testimony of their freedom.
The people of Konyak tribe are also famous as an excellent headhunters and collectors of enemy skulls! You will be amazed to know that some of these families of Konyak tribe still owns loads of brass skull necklaces and other accessories. It is a souvenir reminding that they have been part of battles and their enemy heads is a symbol of victory. They believe that these skulls bring prosperity and help boosting the crop fertility. However, very few people stick to this belief now, as gradually with the rise of Christianity in early 1960’s, people stopped headhunting. Though this downfall doesn’t really signifies that the people of Konyak Tribe cannot take up the guards again! Apart from this they are deeply enrolled with their custom as people can be seen wearing traditional jewelries and costumes. Their faces and body are perfectly tattooed while they adore their headgears with a swag! According to Nagaland government officials, the Konyak Tribe accounts a population of 20 lakh people and a greater part of them falls in Myanmar than India.
Drug Addiction among Konyak Tribe:
Only one thing that disadvantages the tribe is their rising drug addiction. The opium trade in the village has affected a large section of the youth who are now deeply addicted to the drugs. It is easy to assume that for these head hunters opium consumption is not a tough nut to crack but that’s not the case. Rumors says that the Britishers wary this fabulous gun making tribe and introduced them to the opium. And since then the tribe is poised with this drug addiction! One thing that cannot be ignored among this is that opium dealing has been a generations-old trade as Myanmar grows a well amount of poppy crops. Locally, Myanmar goods are exchanged in India for salt, tea leaves and clothes but on the larger scale this border can also be considered as a huge drug trafficker’s paradise. Fortunately, the king has now acknowledged the menace and had banned opium trade in the region. It can be assumed that his decision might change the fate of Konyak tribe as the tribe will obey his decision because of their divine faith on the king.