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3rd Quarterly Research Progress Report.

This document summarizes the proposed process for

conducting Research during the period (1st August
2015) through (31th Jan 2015) under the Government
of India, Ministry of Culture, New Delhi-110115.


: Folk Fusion to Greater heights



File No. : F.3-151/2014-S and F


: Junior Fellowship for 2012-13, Folk Music

(Folk/Traditional and Indigenous Arts)

Address: T. khelKhonoma Village, Lower


: atsochasie@yahoo.com

Contact No: +91 9774 154925

Modulation of Folksongs
and its Functions

Angami Nagas

Project duration
Present reporting period

01-8-2014 to 31-08-2016
1stAugust, 2015 to 31th January

Table of Contents
I.1.Modulation of Folksongs and its Functions in
Nagaland (Angami Nagas)
Different types of folk songs

(eg.A3) Avoneihu

I.3. Lide
(eg.A4) Zievinyii

I.4. Lita

(eg.A.5) Uramia

I.5. Lima
(eg A .6) Garipheju

I.6. Cha-ii

(eg.A.7) Azuo viphrii

I.7. Shieli

II. Contemporary Folk songs

II a. Tati song (A Mothers song)
II b. Tati song (Lhisemia)
II c. So hi mo jo (without you, i got no lovers)

III.Theoretical Framework
IV.Contemporary Culture
V. Social function of Folksongs
VI. Expected Research contribution VII.Conclusion

This paper sets out to argue that the social functions of
folksongs has not changed but rather it has undergone a
process of modification and negligence as a result of
westernization of culture, ideals and education. This
aspect of modification has assisted folksongs to be made
available to different regions over the Naga tribes and
assisting it to gain a wider coverage nationally.
Functionalism and contemporary culture therefore forms
the theoretical frame of a dissection and understanding
of the changing social functions of folksongs.
Gbadeges in (1997) observed that, oral tradition is an
indispensable source of history, indicator of deep
thought, and transmitter of cultural and religious values.
It is through the ocean of the oral tradition of a non
literate culture that we explore their historical being and
their contribution to the philosophic world.
This not only goes to reflect the importance that can and
should be attached to oral literature, it also brings to
awareness the overwhelming need to preserve and
transmit cultural aesthetics. Oral forms emanates in folk
tale, myths, epics, legends, lyrics, songs, dirge, chants,
invocations and many others. Folk song is an aspect of
the oral traditions of any tribe which is used to address
topics or issues that concern the natives of a community.
The use of folksong is peculiar to the community it
originates from but one common feature is that it often
borders on social and political issues of that land. Folksong has been associated with rural communities and
lower socio-economic classes, but in the 21th century
the pattern of dissemination changed, with greater

emphasis on written transmission and especially on

recordings. At the same time many of the original
functions of folk-song have been taken over by popular
music of the west. In pre-literate society before the
influence of westernization Nagas had always transferred
their wealth of knowledge, skills, tradition and religious
belief to generations after them through oral means.
This for them has served the purpose which the
prevalent society they lived in was established for and
so, fables, stories, folksongs, myth and legends were
kept alive in the minds of the younger generation
through telling and rote-learning to enrich the social and
moral life of the people and ensuring the continuity of
their culture.
The social roles which folk songs played was not limited
to this alone, it also serves as an effective means of
expressing and inculcating the ideals, morals and values
of a society. The progress of this paper is an attempt to
study the various kinds of folk songs sung by the Angami
Nagas. The lyrical meanings and the progress of
modulation to the present day folk music.
The folk songs of the Angami Nagas are well versed with
poetic structure. Many songs are also composed during
the life span of a whole clan or family. It has nine syllables
in all the songs following the traditional structure and
tune, where new songs can be composed and sang with
the traditional tune. An example is given below, where
each nine syllables are underlined.
Eg A1. Riikehulo
Riikehulo anei vari zo Rii ke hu lo a nei va ri zo
Kehu nyiirei nie kinumia we- Ke hu nyii rei nie ki nu
mia we
Thezie loii tsu dziinha rienu The zie lo ii tsu dzii nha
rie nu

Biese yhushii si-u no ba khrie- Bie se yhu shii si-u no

ba khrie
Avo yusho kechii bie riigwii A vo yu sho ke chii bie rii
So riekesho tzu dziinha rienu- So rie ke sho tzu dzii
nha rie nu
Avo khwe chii ser puya die - A vo kh we chii ser pu
ya die
Themie avo kengui-u moii The mie a vo ke ngui -u
mo ii
Prii mezii rei avo ze molie - Prii me zii rei a vo ze
mo lie
Tei kijii nie sieii pfii riakho - Tei ki jii nie sie ii pfii
ria kho
Kenonie ki riikhro yie nholie. Ke no nie ki rii khro
yie nho lie.
Different types of folk songs
Livo songs can be sung anywhere , there is no restriction
of place or season to perform. Both male and female can
participate in the singing. However Livo songs are sung
and composed mainly by the younger age groups or
songs,admiration and praise of a particular person. An
example of Livo love song is interpreted below.The song
is written down in the common traditional way of
composing, having nine syllables in each line.
(eg.A3) Avoneihu
Avo neihu keri nyii chii
Nie kinumia yu avo dierhe
Liemoi mu so kesipfii rha
Nietsii zhii mu luha khasie nu
Nie kethaii chii arie si-o

(English translation) Even though we love each other

And wished to merry one day
My parents may disapprove
And settle for arranged marriage
With another lady whom i dont love as i do to you
Still it aches my heart to even think of you as another
mens wife
I.3. Lide
The songs categorized under Lide are sung with
full traditional attire at various village festivals or at the
Morung sittings.The songs are performed mostly by the
elderly people.An example of Lide song is interpreted
(eg.A4) Zievinyii
Asi-u no haju lhu molie
We lu Thizie junu lhurii lie
Solhi-u no tsiedo nu vor
Lievipfiimia keviko zuze
Zuze tuoro puothe puora vo
(English translation) My good friend,you are not from this
You roots are from a village called Thizie
Why would a stranger such as you
Come to our village and try luring away our
beautiful ladies
To your village

I.4. Lita

The songs under this category are faster in rhythm and

performed or sung at small informal gatherings. An
example of Lita song is interpreted below.
(eg.A.5) Uramia
Uramia we sono rii kegei
Tsu pia liesho hiewe bie phekhwe
Hie hi shiipie hie kitie lorie
Anei-ii vaphi bie riigwii
Anei-ii no mia ketsu sie nu
Puo khwe tikhru hi dipfii mekhe
Mia do rie le niebi shii these
Nie ha jiiro niegwe nieze ri
Tie tuololie riiya zenyii o
(English translation)
There was a time when villages were not in good terms
with each other
With the uncertainty of time, people were apprehensive
of venturing out to the fields
On such a day I poured a rice beer and waited outside at
the veranda with a view of the paddy fields
Contemplating my beloved lady would be on its way to
the fields
With few farmers on its way, She appeared with a basket
on her back, wrapped beautifully in a shawl, proceeding
towards the paddy fields
I ran towards her, grabbed her hand and uttered, if you
die now
Your wonderful stature, your beauty and everything will
wither away so soon.
I.5. Lima

The songs are continuous and by the end of the first song
the other group joins in with different songs. An example
of Lima song is interpreted below.
(eg A .6) Mehovi-ii
Mehovi-ii ze ketsu metse
Lu Kediju Moriisie kinu
Tie rie pie cii zu rei chiipie krie
Kebie hawe hau khrii tele
Avo lhu sie sono ki dze chii
Tuoii dinu lhurii mo caii
Everytime i took mehovi-ii to the fields
That place, home of Moriisie
Feasting with foods and local beer
Was during this time of the year
With laments, we are not born to be like them feasting
I.6. Cha-ii
In olden days bachelors together make planes and go
dating or visit a ladies home of the same age group.
While on the way to the selected home imaginative words
and past romances are expressed through singing. Songs
that are sung on the way to a ladies home.
An example is given below.
(eg.A.7) Azuo viphrii
Azuo Viphrii Vilhunyii no zou
A zetsu di Vilhunyii riili
A kipu thie, a riinyii tuolie
Vicharii nu ga keda nhiro
Riiiinomia bitho the rile
Awe riakho rhielieya nyii
Rhielie nyii theziethic gwimu

Thezie morei sii puo motenyii.

I.7. Shieli
This type of songs are short and poetic in lines only to be
sung at the other side of the river or beyond the village
gate.Two examples are given below.
a) Tsa zotie yie ho adziigweo
Getting older and older
U kromia nicu la yagwe
Why dont we get young again
b) Khor tuoro aki pumo dinu
Without informing me that you are comming
Khor asieku nu
From my back side
Rishii athukha
Hiding, with cruel intension
Aphirhe lolie
Pulled me down

II . Contemporary Folk songs

Three contemporary songs are selected and carefully
studied about the structure ,the composers intension and
the contrast with the old folk songs. Three songs are
interpreted below.

II a. Tati song
(eg.A9) (A Mothers song)
This song is about a Mothers encouragement to her only
lovely daughter.
( Neinuo is the pet name, where the Angami tribe
addresses to a young lady)
Neinuo krahie, Thenu nie riibei
Weep not,my only daughter
Azuo kedi unuosuoyamu
Your mother though in sadness
Thenumia sii chiedoki riibei
The only days of a lady
Telhe modi shie vo mia ra lhou
Will one day be in a different place(married)
Hatsa unuo Latsa miaphou chii
My daughter, sooner will be a mother
Zotatuo mu Unuoruohielo
Be happy and embraced it positively
II b. Tati song (Lhisemia)
Thinuo harei Lhisemia siinuo
The clan of Lhisemia
Nourhe zoshii lhisemia bu nu
Let there be unity within
Peli thekhrie kerekenie ko
The Twelfth age group
Thinuo mhokuo chiituo-ii di nu
Protectors of the clan
Rakelie nhie phichii theja cha
The faithful day, yearns the fathers blessing
Kelie hala riinou hu vuo-ii
In glee with satisfaction
Tsiedi seshii theja rukeduo
With names inscribed on the Monolith
Rheicha huluo kerekenieko

Prayed for a long life.

II c. So hi mo jo (without you,no lovers)


From the above score, a love song we can see that the
arrangement was harmonised in four parts (SATB)
contemporary style. It does not follow the traditional way
of composing i.e. four-five syllables respectively, though it
uses So hi mo jo thoroughly. The mood of the song is

expressed through various movements. More emphasis is

given on the harmony rather than the lyrics.
III.Theoretical Framework
Functionalism as a theory states that every form of
oral tradition fulfils a variety of functions such as
promotion and enhancement of knowledge and
awareness of positive customs and immoral actions. It
hinges its argument on the fact that there must be a
reason why a song has been composed or sang at a
particular time.
Functionalism reveals the relevance of every folk song
in a community and this function could range from
physical, spiritual, festive, and philosophical to
communal reasons.
IV.Contemporary Culture theory is one that hinges on
the general cultural ideological perceptions of a
community in their speech, habits, dressing, songs,
drama, etc that has public appeal and motivation. It is
often regarded as the ways of a tribe of a community or
referred to as inferior culture because of its popularity.
Though the general concept to this culture may be
different as a result of illiteracy. At all point in time, there
have always been particular songs or stories that are
found common and active within the public. The
popularity of each folksong or stories is achieved as a
result of the performance or the acceptance by the
community. Often time these songs are simple and
straight forward with day to day themes like work,
play,melancholic,love,ceremonies etc.In olden days folk
songs serves numerous purposes to the people.During
festivals,mourning, work,invocation,etc until recently the
purpose and practices of different folk songs have been

reviewed to a new season by various artists.The

acceptance and understanding of folk music adds to the
positive modulation of folk music to a higher level.
V.Social function of Folksongs
Stories and songs are told orally to teach the young
ones.It can be a new story in a song about the gallantry
of a person at war or the moral life coping skills.
The songs are better understood and easily remembered
through singing.
An example of this is a kids song for arithmetic, singing
and counting once fingers called Chiino-Lalabu.
(eg.a12) Chiino, Lalabu ,Khwebuba, Kitiebu, Ka-la-li
Another example that taught us the importance of
responsibility is given below.
Back in the olden Naga villages, on the a sunny day, the
elder kid is responsible for babysitting or protecting the
families property,where the parents usually placed the
paddy cultivation for sun drying. This is the time where
we sing the song,Thevii Riichii Pesoulie. It is a song
shouting to the preying eagles on the Hens preying on
the cultivation. A shout intimidating the eagle and the
naughty hens to hide away deeply, that they are not
taken by the fierce eagle.The song scares away both the
birds and also an entertainment to the younger kids
crying for their parents.
(eg.a13) Thevii Riichii Pesoulie
Thevii Riichii Pesoulie,
Chiizhariimu chaho hocha-cha
VI. Expected Research contribution

Indigenous peoples contribution in Folk music and music

industry will be recognized. Better understanding of how
indigenous music contributes to sustainable livelihood
and surely promotes positive attitudes of human life and
will help the social life of indigenous people in the music
industry while considering folk music. Such type of
development would be people-centred based on selfreliance and preservation of culture and traditions.
Besides well being of the Indigenous musicians, business
opportunities, cultural exchange will be generated by
promoting the folk music, instruments and musicians.
This paper also focuses on the contemporary folk fusion
music where contemporary folk music does not become a
mere entertainment product to the audience, but keeping
intact the important social function of music. In this way
cultural and indigenous music can be successfully
promoted and packaged to benefit the creative industry
and economy as a whole. This will result in better
understanding of the opportunities for mainstreaming
cultural activities for economic development.
The overall result would enable the environment to










preservation and conservation of the indigenous peoples

culture. The study will also show how music contributes

to poverty reduction and help marginalized people and

most overlooked groups of folk musicians in Nagaland to
improve their livelihood. Through music, this paper will
help identify wide range of opportunities and choices that
indigenous people have in order to pursue their livelihood
The report find out that there is a need to promote
creative entrepreneurship as an important source to
promote and develop folk musicians ( and all artists) of the
future. There are more songs composed for ladies in
harmony, usually in thirds or in sixth.Most musicians have
few financial safety nets and find themselves living the
creative industries ethos daily. Thus have to ensure that
they connect with performers and audiences in various
modes by using ideas that have cultural relevance. The
necessity to provide platforms and encourage younger
musicians, the importance of cultural roots of folk music.
The older folk songs are simple in tune with fewer changes
in phrases. It solely depends on a main theme which
proceeds to the end repeating .In other words more
importance was given on the lyrics and its social function
rather than the harmony of the tune.

The theme of contemporary folk songs are mostly derived

from the the old folk songs.Some lightly fused with
western instruments or musical background. The system
of pending down lyrics were lighter with creative and more
attractive tunes. Importance of harmonizing was also
emphesized. Musicians

are also encouraged to promote

the cultural importance and not progress through the

popular culture alone. Creating music that is relevant to
our culture, be that from an indigenous theme or one that
is value-added finely from the outside culture.
Folk is no longer, if it ever was, a minority music. This
report celebrates its position as an historic part of our
national heritage, a hobby, a passion, an industry and
clearly a source of entertainment for thousands of people.
Folk music and folk festivals are key to the socioeconomic and cultural life of our communities.
Morris Hargreaves McIntyre

Resource persons:-

a) Mr.Nikeriisie Punyii

b) Thekrusalie Sophi

Nungoi Nyekha (M.A



Zhiinyii(M.A Tenyidie)

Ruokuo Suokhrie

References:a) Khwiino Khweda

Ruokuosie-ii Yhome

by Mr.Nikeriisie Punyii and Mr.Medokerhe Yalie.

b) Morris Hargreaves McIntyreImpact of Folk Festivals on Cultural Tourism, January
b)A Ra Kezievi Published by Khonoma Riiffiino,Kohima

Enclosed sample audio/mp3 of different types of Angami

Naga folk songs for references
1.Traditional folk songs
a. Plantation song(june season ) (b)Tati song(autumn
(c)Thie tieso (d) Cultural vibrant (e) O Ho (f) Thevii Riichii
g. Chiino lalabu
2.Contemporary Folk songs
a) Hiyo hi (b) Male voice fusion (c) So Hi Mo Jo