ScIFER embarked upon what is now known
as The Naga Project as a result of two motivating factors:
The first was the realization that the original Naga culture
was in the later stage of violent self destruction; had
been significantly isolated from the rest of the world for
decades (for geo-political reasons); and that no organization
was actively researching, investigating or documenting aspects
of this complex tribal culture before it vanished.
The second was the discovery that a major, and passionate,
collector of Naga material for almost 40 years was prepared
to part with his collection on two conditions: a) that the
collection would basically be kept together and b) that
the recipient would make an effort to document and display
the material in a way that would raise public awareness
of the Naga people and their culture.
Our objectives are to create the world's most definitive
information source on the Naga culture, to spark interest
and academic research into Naga history and culture, and
to develop public awareness of the Naga people today. All
of these activities are part of The Naga Project's overall
focus on collecting, documenting, and disseminating information
on the Naga culture.
The Naga Project has three phases:
Phase 1 - to collect and document all the
possible (archeological, sociological, religious, etc.)
from the various Naga tribes.
Phase 2 - to distill much of the information into
tech traveling museum exhibit on the Nagas, including
books, music, videos, and interactive CDs.
Phase 3 - to find a permanent home for the exhibit.
ScIFER is in contact with representatives of some Naga tribes.
It has sponsored recorded field interviews with tribal elders
in Nagaland on history, customs, beliefs and changes; video
taped old ceremonies and modern celebrations; and professionally
recorded both traditional instrumental and vocal Naga music
and modern variations. Currently we are attempting to rescue
and preserve some important traditional pieces of Naga life
- a 20' long carved ceremonial drum, large intricately carved
village gates, and carved panels from an old morung, or
men's house. Such items, which played a critical role in
Naga culture, have not been made in a long time and are
currently in danger of being destroyed.