Identity

Different? Not really

The two women are as different as chalk and cheese. And I don't mean in terms of skin colour alone. Their appearance distinctly identifies them from two different regions of India - Northeast and South. They speak different languages and cook and eat food vastly different. But they are one - as women, as mothers as sisters in arms. They are united in their strength in the face of adversity. Migration, resettlement and subsistence bring them together in this space. Each is invisible, marginalised and discriminated against - be it colour, caste or communal identity.

The Network of Women

I am Wekoweu Tsuhah (Akole) and I belong to the Chakhesang tribe of Nagaland. I am a women’s rights activist and a development practitioner, an advocate for gender equality, social and environmental justice. While growing up, I experienced fear and rage as I lived through armed conflict, alcoholism, domestic violence, poverty and these shaped the person I am today. I am passionate about working with people, women in particular; but it is only after I started working with a women’s rights organization – NEN, the North-East Network, did I truly realize and recognize these social injustices.

Traditional house with bamboo matting in Htan Taw Village

The housing pattern is usually with bamboo matting in Htan Taw Village. The people in Htan Taw village depend mostly on natural products like this kind of bamboo matting for their housing pattern rather than artificial products. On the other hand, in contrast, these kinds of natural products are more perishable than artificial. They have to cope with this problem with their intuition. Some of them apply emulsion paint, oil rust and the substance that drive the insects away on these bamboo mattings to protect the roof from insects and the climate condition.

Bakhri II

Bakhri II
 
The community Bakhri (Granary) at Thuribari, Kokrajhar, is one of the few such Bakhris seen nowadays in Assam. Community Bakhri is representative of a communal living and sharing. Located in an open village space just opposite the Brahma temple, these three small raised mud houses look ordinary but the significance and relevance of them in Thuribari community life is clearly visible from the well-maintained condition of it. 
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