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Every mother tongue has sounds and sighs that utter laments and express hope. The word Ayaakho Ojala is derived from the Ao Indigenous tribal language and is the ultimate angst that is often invoked by women. It signifies a mother’s strength and comfort.  As a woman utters it, she finds relief and rest from the pain of patriarchy that seeks to crush her down. Ayaakho Ojala is an invocation of the ultimate source of a mother’s strength; it is the deepest prayer, full of wisdom and strength that is at the disposal of every woman.  It is often uttered when women’s contributions go unrecognized, unaccounted and unprotected. Though men folk invoke Ayaakho Ojala in a similar manner, it takes on a different life when it is used by women in the context of pain and oppression.


( As related by Ren Ozukum, Dimapur , Nagaland )




Cotton University


Ayaakho Ojala


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