History of Langa the ancient village of the Yimkhiungru tribe

 

  • FORMAT FOR HISTORICAL SITE/MONUMENTS.

  • Name of the site/Monument : LANGA (ONE OF THE ANCIENT VILLAGE OF  THE YIMCHUNGER TRIBE)

  • District & Location In Tuensang district. It lies at the South of present Kuthur Village

 

Description

Langa is one of the ancient village of the Yimchunger tribe. It is considered as old as 800 years. It lies at the south of the present Kuthur  village. The village was one of the biggest in term of area and population. The village consisted of around 900 houses with about 4500 people. The village is said to occupy an area of approximately 20 square kilometres. The houses were constructed by bamboos, wood and thatch. People mostly practiced jhum cultivation. Hunting and fishing were almost a routine way of life. They also had a democratic system of village administration. Customary laws and rule were enforced rigorously. They also had a good social system. Festivals and other customary rituals were practiced regularly. The village was divided into khels. Each khel had an elder (leader) who was responsible for the welfare, grievances, crime and other matters happening in his khel. The village had a head elder/chief who was regarded as the supreme commander and the leader. Each khel would comprise of various clan and number of families. The village had a court house where the elders would sit and decide all nature of civil and criminal cases. Due to its largeness and big population neighbouring villages could not dare to attack Langa village. But, the prosperity and longevity of this village could not last long. Due to internal differences, rivalry and corrupt practices of some people who were supposed to have been in the high position; the villagers no longer able to bear the evil system of those despotic leaders, decided to leave the village once and for all for good. On desertion, the village became a place of desolation and abode of wild animal. The people went in different ways. Some of them went to Kheamniungan area: some to Sangtam area while some went to the Chang area, settled and are there till today. Today, one can still see the house sites of the ancient Langa village. The site in now covered by jungle. No one resides there.

 

  • Statistical data of the site/monument such as age, size area etc.

  • Age: the age of the Langa village is approximately 800 years old.

  • Area: the village area is believed to have occupied around 20 square kms.

  • Location: It lies at the south of Present Kuthur village.

  • Population: the village boasted to have possessed 900 houses with approximately 4500 population.

  • Houses were constructed by bamboos, wood and thatch.

  • Practiced jhum cultivation, fishing and hunting in addition to head hunting.

  • Practiced democratic system of administration.

  • Rigorous enforcement of customary laws and rules.

  • Source of information, name and other particulars of the informant.

(The above brief has been collected from various elders, historians who know the events of this history)

BRIEF HISTORY OF HOW LANGA, THE ANCIENT VILLAGE OF THE YIMCHUNGER TRIBE WAS DISPERSED 

          Langa, one of the ancient villages of the Yimchunger tribe is believed to be 800 years old. It lies at the south of the present Kuthur village. The village occupied around 20 square kms. Langa village had 900 numbers of houses with approximately 4500 population . Though the people were head hunters yet they also fished and hunted wild animals for food. Jhumming was the main system of their agriculture life. Democratic system of village administration is believed to have existed. Customary laws and rules were vigorously enforced. They enjoyed a good social life. Various festivals and social gathering were regularly practiced and enjoyed. The village consisted of many khels for smooth administration. The village elders decided all civil and criminal cases in the village court or morung. The village consisted of many clans and families.

          One fine day a man named Lakiumong was accepted by the Langa village authority to settle in the village. The village authority little knew about the background and previous history of Lakiumong. They also did not know that by inviting and accepting him in the village they were inviting a tragedy which would lead to the ultimate dispersal of the Langa village itself.

          Before Lakiumong came to settle down in Langa village, he was living in Thsunkiosoru village (Thonoknyu). His parents and fore fathers had been living in Tuphong village. When the dispersal of Tuphong village took place he – along with his two sons Throngsokhiung and Zongyimkiu came and settled down at Thonoknyu village, better known as Thsunkiosoru. They must have probably lived there for a good number of years. They were arrogant, hot headed and proud. But, one unfortunate incident compelled them to leave the village for good. It so happened that one day, his son Zongyimkiu’s dog had eaten up a child of one of the villager there at Thsunkiosoru village. This incident gave rise to serious family feud which invoked customary way of settling the case. On the order of the Thsunkiosoru village customary court, the dog that had eaten up the child was ordered to have it killed and its intestines inspected for sign of human flesh. Accordingly, when the dog was killed and contents checked, the court found human flesh which gave them concrete proof that Zongyimkiu’s dog had really eaten a child. Now, this was a grave offense – had it been done by human being. But, since an animal had done the gruesome deed, however, the owner of the animal had to pay dearly for the act. The village authority had to make Lakiumong and his children part with most of their landed property to the victim’s family. Moreover, Lakiumong and his children were forced to leave Thsunkiosoru village for good. This unfortunate incident let them to go and settle down in Langa, the ancient village of the Yimchungrus.

          As years went by living at Langa village, the true nature of Lakiumong and his children became exposed to the people there. Their arrogance, hot headedness and selfish pride earned hatred and animosity from the people. They tried to enforce their diktats and exercise their selfish authority and will upon the people. They started grabbing land and property of others without any compensation. Traders coming to Langa village were not spared of their abusive language and insult. Lakiumong and his children could never stand the sight of others’ domestic animals growing healthy, strong and multiplying in numbers. They could not stand the sight of healthy and bountiful standing crops of others in the fields. They shamelessly went on destroying standing crops, trees thereby incurring wrath and hatred of the people of Langa village. The people of Langa could no longer tolerate this wayward life and attitude of Lakiumong and his sons, so they decided to teach Lakiumong and his sons a bitter lesson. They decided to leave Langa village for good and disperse in their own ways leaving Lakiumong and his sons to dwell in the village. When this secret was brought to the knowledge of Lakiumong and his sons, Lakiumong tried his best attempt to pacify the villagers of their anger and hatred and requested them not to abandon Langa village. He killed his buffaloes and distributed its meat to every household to show his sincerity and promised that he would mend his ways. But, the villagers decided that “enough is enough” and they would carry out their decision. They could no longer trust and tolerate the evil ways of Lakiumong and his sons. So, one night the rest of the Langa villagers left with all their belongings for good and went their own ways. They did not consume the friendship meat offered by Lakiumong and his sons. As a sign of their protest and in-acceptance of his gesture, they left the meat tied with bamboo strings on their doors. The people of Langa on dispersal, some went to Chang area, some went to Sangtam area while some went to Kheamniungan area and Sema area. It is believed that people from Langa must have also gone to Ao area, Konyak area and Phom area as well. That is how people from Langa village came to settle down in the lands of neighbouring tribes and so are there till this day. When Langa village was deserted by everyone, Lakiumong and his sons could not stay in the village on their own. So, they also left the village and went to settle in Tuensang village. But, there also they could not stay long. Because of their evil ways and bad habits;  Tuensang villagers killed his eldest son Throngsokhiung. Lakiumong fled to Kiosoru village where he settled down and probably lived there quite a few years. He has descendants in Kiosoru village and its neighbouring villages.

          Thus the great Langa village, one of the ancient villages for the Yimchungru’s booming with big population and prosperity came to an abrupt end because of one bad person and his sons. The Langa village site now lies as a desolate wasteland. The site (Langa) is now overgrown by thick bushes. The site is of historical importance and significance particularly to the Yimchungru tribe. Hence, the department of Art and culture should take the initiative to protect and preserve this historical site.   

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Kudo’s to you for this noble work.
    I have personally been there at the site and have witnessed the remains of the Langa village, particularly the holes in the rocks carved out to erect the poles of the houses that once stood there overlooking the majestic view. It would have been much better if photographic evidence of such were provided with this article.

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