Recognising that weaving is the exclusive domain of women in Naga society, the introduction to the book “Woven Words”, a collection of women’s poetry, highlights that the bold colours and intricate patterns of cloths Naga women weave are not meant for visual pleasures alone but they also speak and give voice to the complex network of identities their people inhabit.
The book, Woven Words, a Heritage publication and written by women writers including Moanungla Kevichusa, Megovono Usou, Khriezenuo Vizo, C. Vezholu Kotso, Sungjeminla, Limajungla Jamir, Theyiesinuo Keditsu, Emisenla Jamir and Avinuo Kire, Department of English, Kohima College Kohima was released today by Mmhonlumo Kikon, Minister for Geology & Mining and Border Affairs at the Heritage Kohima.
Giving the introduction of the book at the launch, Moanungla Kevichusa, Associate Professor & HoD, Department of English, Kohima College noted that women have very endearing virtue and extreme modesty while stating that the contributors felt that their writings were not noteworthy. She said that readers will find that the poems are note written in any particular style but are very humble, very simple, honest outpouring from the heart, a celebration and a tribute paid to their very ordinary but busy lives.
In his address, Mmhonlumo Kikon, Minister for Geology & Mining and Border Affairs termed the collection as a timely production and expressed that it is like a call to him to reflect more on the beauty of nature and every aspect of life. He also said that politicians and writers are very similar because they are both in the profession of representation wherein writers represent voices.
The Minister, who is also an avid reader and previously worked with a publishing firm stated that writing, especially poems is a very spiritual task. He further commented that some of the poems in the book also resonated with him while there are also poems that have addressed existing problems in the Naga society.
He further urged the writers to write everyday because it is their profession. “Write everyday because it is your profession, your talent. If you are not producing more you are doing a disservice to our society”, he added. He also asserted that the production of knowledge should be consistently supported and that this responsibility lies with everybody.
“Your voices should not go in vain”, he added and stated hope that more publications either collectively or individually will follow in the days to come.
A speech on behalf of Dr. Temsula Ao, Poet & Author was read out wherein, she said that “what is noteworthy about this volume is that along with the heavy responsibility of teaching, the poets have made time to listen to the calling of their inner voices and have spoken out with honesty and urgency about their own perceptions of human existence.” She stated confidence that “the various pieces will find resonance in the young minds who are their charges and which will be given them the right incentive to appreciate the beauty of nature, cherish the warmth of human relationships and instill in the young minds the courage to face the adversities of life.”
Highlights of the event included prayer by Pastor Temjen Sempo, Kohima Ao Baptist Church, special music by Tutu Terhuja, 3rd Semester, English Honours, and poetry recitation by the Department of English, Kohima College Kohima. The programme was chaired by Dr. Avinuo Kire, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Kohima College.