Performing Personhood Rites, Rituals and Cultural Practices of Tangkhul Nagas
Urmimala Sarkar Munsi
Performance Personhood Tangkhul Ritual
Art & Culture
Theatre and Performance Studies School of Arts and Aesthetics Jawaharlal Nehru University
This research attempts to study the performative aspects of personhood as observed through rites of passage, different rituals and cultural practices of Tangkhul Nagas. Changes and transformations brought about by Christian missionaries led to the understanding of the world differently, affecting the nature of cultural performances including rituals in the everyday life of the people. However, several pre-Christian rituals and performances continue to exist. This research locates itself within the coexistence of pre-Christian belief systems alongside the present Christian beliefs and practices, exploring the remnants and memories of the past as an active presence in the present. Along with the change in belief systems and socio-cultural practices, the notion of personhood also transformed. This research focuses on the transforming ideas of personhood within the community, as seen through festivals, ceremonies and rituals around rites of passage such as birth, puberty, marriage and death. The research shall thus examine how the idea of Tangkhul personhood gets formulated through the interaction between the individual and the community, human and non-human entities, material objects and immaterial practices.