Reviving memory : the forgotten stories of Nagaland
Peh, Yang Yu
Date of Issue2016-05-12
School of Art, Design and Media
This paper investigates how art can serve as a means to preserve cultural heritage, focusing on the preservation of endangered folktales of the Naga people in North East India. The focus of the research is on the younger generation of Naga people, whose lives negotiate the impact of globalization. This project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between an artist linguists and the oral speakers to produce two bilingual illustrated reading books in the Mongsen dialect of Ao, a Tibeto-Burman language, and Tenyidie, an Angami-Pochuri language and English. The children of Nagaland have participated in drawing workshops to glean imagery to be used as references for the illustrations of the traditional Naga folktales. These drawings were incorporated into the artist’s illustrations of the traditional Naga folktales for the first time. There is also an examination on how the illustrations of the folktales express the political climate of Nagaland. This includes how the audience could contribute to the artwork themselves by interacting with the images, as well as methods and considerations that could maximize the potential of the illustrations to impact the communities’ enjoyment, interest and comprehension of the folktale. The Naga community have been engaged throughout the work process. With the absence of a writing tradition, folktales and myths were passed down from generation to generation through their oral literature. The illustrated folktales thus play a vital role in reviving the Nagas’ traditional customs and beliefs in the minds of the new generation, who are already experiencing a loss of their culture, which the Naga’s are very forthright in acknowledging. This paper discusses matters of utmost importance in working with communities to develop early reading materials using art in a collaborative, interdisciplinary process and taking into consideration concerns of all participants.
DRNTU::Visual arts and music::Visual arts
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University