Project Background

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 information
possible (archeological, sociological, religious, etc.)
from the various Naga tribes.

Phase 2
- to distill much of the information into a high
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.

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