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KHEZHAKENO VILLAGE: The Ancestral Home of the Nagas

KHEZHAKENO VILLAGE: The Ancestral Home of the Nagas
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/18/2018 7:04:58 AM IST

 Khezhakeno is a village in Phek District of Nagaland, India. It is a historical village of the Nagas. It is located in the region 25.30’N and 94.12’E at an elevation of 1660 meters (5,450 ft)  above sea level and shares its border with the Manipur state in the south. The village is 48 kms from the state capital Kohima via NEC Viswema-Kidima-Zuketsa road and is 23 kms away from its sub-divisional headquarter Pfutsero. It falls under the Administrative Circle of Khezhakeno HQ headed by an Extra Assistant Commissioner.

The Genesis: Khezhakeno village is also known as ‘Kozabomi’ village by the natives. According to oral history as handed down the ages from the ancestore speaks; Koza the Chief, who was the foremost  ancestral forefather, established and settled at Khezhakeno village. It is believed that in the course of time, various phases of migration took place. Thus, Khezhakeno is considered as the ancestral home to most of the present Naga tribes. The present native inhabitants of this village speak Kozale or Khezha dialect and their off-spring-generations are known as Kozalhü or Khezha speaking people belonging to the Chakhesang Naga tribe. 

Demography: As per the Population Census of India 2011, the village with a total 606 household has a population of 3281 persons of which 1643 are males and 1638 are females. The average Sex Ratio is 997 which is higher than Nagaland state average of 931 and the Child Sex Ratio is 980.

The literacy rate of the village is 76.30%, where Male literacy is at 84.77% and female literacy rate at 67.83%.

Some Important Historical Significance:

1. TSO TAWO (SPIRIT STONE):
A magnificent spirited flat stone upon which if a basket of paddy is parched in the sun; it generates double-fold in the evening. This is also the significant first settlement site of ‘KOZA’, the foremost  ancestral forefather and from where various Naga tribes migrated later on. Although, the charm of the stone is said to have gone as it was burned and destroyed, the remnants of this legendary Khezhakeno stone is still preserved in its original location even today. 
2. TSOPOUPE CHITUDE KEBE:
These are the remnants of the mythical growing stone which tried to reach the sky. 
3. HOUSE OF THE MOWO (CHIEF/PRIEST):
This is the house of the village Chief/Priest known as Mowo. The practice and recognition of Mowo was hereditary or through lineage of Mowo’s clan. However, with the advent of Christianity there is no more heir to it.
4. CHIDA LAKE RESORT (LOWHO):
The acclaimed tourist destination spot CHIDA LAKE RESORT or also known as LOWHO. The serenely calm natural lake placing face-to-face with the sky (Chida).
5. ZHI NHAKA (NOSE OF THE LAKE): 
A perennial source of Spring water pond which remains constant in summer as well as in winter. It is believed to be the ‘nose of the ancient lake’ that once existed, from where the significant meaning of the term ‘Zhipfhemi’ (Guardian of the Lake) is derived. 
6. KELHE DZUKHO:
Kelhe Dzukho literally means ‘Sanctification Pond’. During forefather’s time a ritual ceremony known as Pulho Menyi was observed where male folks used to take bath in this pond symbolizing purity. Also, warriors and hunters dipped their spears, daos (machete) etc., to purify before going to warpath or hunting.
7. EZAKO DZUKHO: 
An ancient pond (Dumi Dzukho) from where the earliest forefathers drew water with background reminiscence of forefather’s time paddy field.
8. TAWO BU: 
The Tawo Bu is believed to be a sacred place. The traditional historical legend has it that if when Tawo Bu is tempered; the weather condition is affected by severe Thunderstorm and Drought. 
9. CHINI SABE: 
A sacred place used only by the Village Chief Priest to give information to the villagers.
 10. REMINISCENCE OF THE AGE OLD PADDY CULTIVATION: 
An overview of the age old practice of terrace cultivation of paddy rice (at Pfulo)    
Interestingly, Khezhakeno occupies key importance towards understanding the vast stretch ages of civilization of the various Naga tribes. Although much of its historical significance of culture, tradition, customs and practices etc has now faded into obscurity forever; yet what is preserved to remain to this day of whatever relics, artefacts, remnants, folklore and stories and most of all the historical origin and migration indeed opens up intriguing windows of knowledge and research to many who yearns to know of the genuine history. 
Indeed, this humble quest to preserve, to relate and to pass down the original and undiluted historical facts of origin and migration impresses one and all alike. Above all, the people of Khezhakeno shares God’s undying beauty here on earth and its blessings to all. And to this end, Khezhakeno beckons you to visit.             

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