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Konyak Naga Cucumber
(Lemei Chingkai Konyak Medical Area, Mon Town)  :  Jul/09/2017 09:01:PM
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In addition to discovering new species of plants, vegetables, fruits, animals, birds and insects within rich Naga land, today a new kind of cucumber species is brought to light which is believed to exist only in Nagaland in the land of Konyak tribe. 
Cucumber is one of the most awaited fruit for Konyak people every year. 
It is called MAIKOH which literally means give (Koh) to beloved (mail) Interestingly, a story is attached to the origin of this particular name. The story says that in a distant past a group of young men from Morung (men’s dormitory) went to the jungle and discovered the fruit. 
After tasting and discovering that it was juicy and harmless, the men folk decided to take it back to their lovers. This gave birth to the name ‘Maikoh’ ever after.
Cucumber is a short duration cucurbits that matures within 3-4 months. It is grown organically in the land of Konyak with high production. Konyak people plant cucumber all throughout the year by seed to seed method depending upon the soil type. 
The best time of planting is considered to be in the month of January- February and harvest in the month of May to August every year. Varieties of cucumber are grown in different villages depending on the climatic condition, soil type and elevation. Mon area is best known for cucumber production every year. 
 So far, two types of cucumber have been found in the land. They are ‘Hollow and Closed’ type cucumbers. It can be categorised by its features cited below.
1. Closed Cucumbers
a. Koh-angya (queen of cucumber): 
 It is juicy, soft, sweet and green in colour both externally and internally. During its growth and prime time to consume, the ring round seeds become deep green in colour and once it ripens, it becomes yellowish in colour. 
Despite changes in size and colour the taste remains the same until decay though little changes will occur in the percentage of water content. Most Konyak people call it queen of cucumber. 
This type of cucumber is usually found in moderate and cold climatic areas. Villages like Hongphoi, Tuimei, Mon, Phoktong, Shenghah Lampong and Wangla are known for producing ‘Koh-angya’ cucumber. The size varies from 5-7 cm in circumference, length:1 feet or longer.  
c. Koh-sah (Small-cucumber): 
Koh-sah is smaller in size (approx. circumference: 4-5cm, length: 8-9 inches). 
In its young stage, it is green in colour internally and externally and has a sticky fluid. It is also juicy, soft and sweet during consumption period. During, ripening stage, the outer becomes off-white in colour and also the fruit turns little hard with less juice. Koh-sah is found in villages like Tuimei, Hongphoi and Phoktong. 
d. Koh-khe (reddish- brown cucumber):
 It is green in colour internally and externally. It is very juicy and sweet but mildly hard. When it is fully ripe the outer cover turns to complete deep yellow in colour and its seeds arena becomes orange in colour with white seeds within. In its full grown stage it gives a very sour taste. This cucumber can be preserved without preservatives for more than a month without much change in size and water content for off seasons. Villages like Longwa, Tizit area, Shangnyu, Yuching are rich producers of this type. Its circumference is approx. 25cm and length is 1 feet or longer.
2. Koh-kha (Hollow-cucumber): 
Koh-kha is mildly hard with small star shaped hole inside. It tastes sweet and juicy. In its growing stage it is complete green in colour. When it gets ripe the colour turns to yellow  externally and internally with reddish brown colour at the base and tastes little sour. Its circumference is 22-23 cm and length is approx. 1 feet and above.  Villages like Shangnyu, Tang and Longwa produce this type of cucumber.
* Konyak Naga Usages of Cucumber: There can be umpteen usages of Konyak Naga cucumbers but below are some of few usages prevalent among Konyak Nagas.
Konyak people use cucumber for medicinal purpose especially to control gastritis.
It has an excellent cooling effect.
They consider it as a fruit. 
They make salad out of it.
Koh-khe (reddish- brown Cucumber) is used as a vegetable too.
Konyak Naga cucumber is one kind of fruit that differs in taste, shape and size from those available in other parts of India and probably in the world. It is an amazing fruit available in Nagaland that needs further attention for the benefits of all. 

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