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Aoleang -Mo-Nyu (The spring festival)
By Chingwang Konyak, Ex-MP  :  Apr/11/2017 06:18:PM
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Aoleang-Mo-Nyu (The Spring Festival) is the biggest festival of the Konyaks in their social life. It is observed after the completion of sowing of seeds both in old and new paddy fields and construction of huts, and finally the construction of an Angh''s kheti hut in a particular architectural style. It is as old as their society. Hence, it has its origin since the earliest days of ancestors. Needless to say about its great importance; it is observed every year and that too during the best season of the year, from the 1st of April to 6th of April.
Poor and rich, young and old, high and low and women and men equally participate with great enthusiasm. Among many other Festival this stands above all other statures. it marks both the triumphal end of the year long successful performances including war achievements and the happy beginning of the year.
The intensive preparation begins within fifteen to twenty prior to the festival. The villagers work harder and undergo greater difficulties to save more for the days of the celebration. Indeed nothing is too big as sacrifice if it is for this festival of the year. Just before the start of the festival, villagers specially those families and the same age groups, who would be observing on the first day would go to the jungle for collecting wild jungles leaves (laie), banana stem and other green leaves to be cooked with meat for the fest. They also construct a dancing platform with wood and bamboo in front of each morung (baan) and an Ahng''s Campus. Each morung would select the particular type of Bamboo and cut the best one to hoist as a flag post (Keipong). It is decorated with young palm leaves and on the first morning of festival the post is hoisted in one corner of the platform which is constructed for dancing during the festival.
1st day: This day is called ponglang nyih (killing of mithuns, buffaloes and cows). This day is also called mon-ak-sheak nyih (killing of pigs by the same age groups). On this first day, mithuns, buffaloes and cows are killed by the rich and elderly people, while the younger age groups killed cows and pigs. This day is not nyau nyih (genna) for the whole village, only those who can afford to kill mithuns, buffaloes, and same age groups can be in the village. the other men and women go to the jungle for collecting firewood, jungle leaves and banana stem etc. The beating of aoleang log drum starts on this day.
2nd day: Ak-Sheak-Nyih (killing of pigs). This day is nyau nyih (genna) for the whole village. All the households kill their pigs and those who cannot affort to do so, they shared with other households. Some pieces of meat are distributed to all members of the clan. Small gifts of rice and meat are given to the dead. The skulls are taken out of the earthen pots and stone cists and cleaned by the old men and by the women, even girls are allowed to clean the skulls of their parents or brothers or sisters. They hold the food close to the skulls and say: We are having aoleang-mo-nyu, you eat aoleang meat, drink, to you we give rice beer, to you we give rice. Then they put the food down near the skull, but later on it is put into a basket hanging near the grave.
3rd day: Leangha-nyih (small day): On this day the men invite their sisters and children and entertain them. The men give to each  of his sisters pieces of meat, white rice, sticky rice and rice beer. The sisters give rice and rice beer in return, but usually no meat. On this day both men and women dance. The men style of dance is called - Naolinbu, which is dance in zig-zag line.
4th day: Leang-Nyu-Nyih(Great Day): The men and women invite the members of their age groups, and all the men dance the great dance of the head hunting years. They are dressed  in full traditional attires. The name of this dance is called Boa-Shin - Aleibu. When night falls girls, from different morung dance with the boys of different morungs on the platform. The day comes to an end with the boys with a dance competition amongst the different morungs (Baan) at the Angh''s campus. Every village has a particular plot of land, which is usually the best and most elevated plot. Stones of different statures are planted here. This is the symbol of past victory where heads of enemy warriors were preserved.
5th day: Yin-Yan-Nyih or Wan-Shan-Nyih (the day of guest departure/leaving): This is not nyau-Nyih (genna). On this day the relatives and other guests who came from other village leaves carrying the meat and the sticky rice they reserved.
6th day: On this day, all people go their fields and six pairs of leaves are fastened to six of the outer posts of the hut, and two pairs of leaves of the two inner main posts. This is done for millet. No animal is killed, they still eat the meat of Aoleang-Mo-Nyu. Then they sprinkle a mixture of pig''s blood and some rice flour and say: Seed give good crops- excellent rice and much taro (Yam).
Now the festival is all over only to come after one year. Yes, after another four seasons. With such festivity and solemnity the year is seen off and the New Year accordingly begins with hopes and great expectations that the years at hand would turn out with more promises of good luck and fortune.

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