Our overnight host Atsubu hired a vehicle and guided us through a jungle dirt track passing through insurgent camp areas, and two mountain streams without bridges. He parted company with us at the main road leading to Aboi with tears in his eyes. A friendship of 10 hours produces tears!
We entered Mon passing through Konyak tribe villages and finally arrived to watch The Aoleang Monyu Konyak Festival.
Aoleang Monyu Festival is the biggest and most significant festival of the Konyak Nagas of Nagaland. Celebrated during the first week of April every year, Aoleang is a vibrant spring festival and of great cultural significance for the Konyaks.
Aoleang is mainly celebrated in the Mon district of Nagaland from April 1 to the 6th. It marks the end of the sowing season and the beginning of a new year for the Konyaks. Prayers are offered for a prosperous harvest season. Customary rituals are performed and traditional dances, songs, and indigenous games are displayed as part of the Aoleang celebrations.
Destination: Nagaland to Mon Nagaland
Distance Covered: 120 kms (approximate, as the distance between Longling and Aboi main road through the jungle has not been mapped or surveyed!)
The jungle dirt track had a strange signboard painted by local insurgent camp inmates! Crossing mountain streams without bridges. He took us to Lungwa the village on the border of Myanmar and India, where half the house of the Angh, the chief that is in India and other in Myanmar. The border runs through his house!
We had dinner with the Angh and his family. Discussing Phom tribe customs.
We met a Konyak gun maker who uses the old Chinese gun-making technique. We ate in the Konyak village and witnessed the rice beating ritual.
We also visited the local health center and school run by our friend Letong who wanted help in running them better.
When we arrived in Mon, we were in for a big surprise. We were spot on time for the official start of the Aoleang Festival. We went to the venue and were given VIP seats!