(Paperback | ISBN 9789388070447 | 200 pp | Sep 2018)
Between 1832 and 1880, the Angami warriors of Khonoma were a beacon of Naga resistance against the British, carrying out raids and disrupting the forced recruitment of the Nagas as bonded labourers. In this richly detailed historical novel—the first Naga novel to appear in English—Hindu Prize winner Easterine Kire brings alive Khonoma of the nineteenth century, a natural fortress nestled amidst high mountains. Life in the far-flung Naga hills was ordered by the seasons and the ceaseless labour of both women and men in the fields; by social taboos, rituals and festivals. Young men grew up on stories of valiant battles with rival villages, tigers, spirits and the British. Everyone had a deep connection with the land, and they took pride in fighting and toiling for it.
The Khonoma warriors clashed with the British a number of times, stirring other Naga villages to join them as well. After the death of an officer in 1879, the British laid siege upon the tiny village. But despite being outumbered and ill-equipped, Khonoma held out against them for four long months, eventually signing a peace treaty on 27 March, 1880.
Originally published to great acclaim as A Naga Village Remembered, this revised edition weaves together meticulous research, oral narratives and fabulous prose, to tell the story of a proud and remarkable community reckoning with radical change—within and without.
‘Kire’s…is a world where the boundaries between magic and reality fall away, make friends and agree to live as one.’—The Hindu
‘Easterine Kire mixes live traditions with new standards. She then gives the Angami (and all of us) the chance to understand, to remember, to move forward while looking back to their ancestors’ best. That’s the gift.’—National Herald