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Chokri Li is beautiful in melody and harmony, with mind-boggling variety. The very popular ones have survived the ravages of time and been handed down to us by oral tradition. 
Li is participatory—you don't have to be a great musician to be a folk singer. And most importantly, it connects and brings a sense of community. It is the people's music. But now, almost forgotten. So it has become exotic.

Most Naga tribes have beautiful music and dances.
And all of us know what we are losing.
Thankfully, our people have woken up to the need to do something about it and our efforts have finally been made worthy by the acknowledgment that it is the right thing to do, if not the best or perfect way.

Unfortunate but true. That there are no written records or documentation of the lyrics or the notation of Naga Folk Music. 
No musical records officially exist either. Luckily for us, our parents had painstaking made some tape recordings of original folk music sung by our villagers during festivals (though they are not of very good quality now). We play it at home all the time. Also, you can always make a trip to the village and request aunts and elders to sing a few for you. 
Nowadays, most of the good folksingers are no more and their music compositions or performances haven’t been recorded for posterity. But then they sang for love of it and as a way of life and not as a performance because our folk music is the "traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of the people in a community".

People play, work and sing together rather than watch others perform.

The songs we sing are all passed down from word of mouth. From our parent's mouths literally :)
And today, we continue the legacy of sharing it across and hopefully down too.
A huge honour and a responsibility.
All of us, you and me, are the future of our future and what we do to preserve or pass it on will decide the way history is written.
Here is a call to meet the challenge to be the change and the instruments of change.
To write a beautiful story. In song and in action.
Hiyohey!


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2 comments:

Sao Tunyi says:
at: 23 June 2011 at 21:13 said...

My aunty, a folk singer told me this story: There was once a man who realized that he has not been good to his wife. But it’s not in our Naga nature to express apology or affection easily and openly. So, he composed a folk song which says, “One cannot change one’s ugly looks, but one can certainly change one’s bad character”, He changed and since then, he remained loving and caring to his wife...Folk songs are a medium of communicating heartfelt feelings which cannot be expressed in normal conversations. Keep up the good work ladies.

For the benefit of those who can't understand our dialect, if you post any video/audio here, translated lyrics can be attached.

Tetseo Sisters says:
at: 24 June 2011 at 21:37 said...

Oh yes! there is always one story or another behind every song we sing. Thank you for sharing.

The video/audio posts coming soon and yes..we'll make every effort to share translated lyrics or gist. After all, the purpose of this blog is to do just that...reach our fans and share.