Dormitory SystemKheloukizii (Dormitory or Morung) was found in all the Naga villages. In antique, the Naga young men and women slept in groups in their dormitory. Many social activities are carried out in the dormitories. In Naga society, dormitory was a big house where the young men and women slept in groups in different dormitory and trained in different fields before they are married. It was a part of training centre and Clubhouse of entertainment. There was separate dormitory for boys and girls. The boys can go to girls’ dormitory but the girls are restricted to enter the boys’ dormitory. It is their belief and customs that if the women enter the boys’ dormitory, the entire villagers would meet misfortune. About the dormitory system in Khiamnungan society (Naga tribe), Major General S.C. Sardespande write as, “Dormitory are useful institutions where young boys and girls rub shoulders with their friends, develop their character and personality, learn the arts and crafts, get best possible social and cultural education and are methodically initiated into the basically strong tribal customary discipline of co-operative living, accommodating other opinions and thoughts, adjusting the self to the group, and identifying the group as more important then the self. Problems of ego, complexes, immorality, selfishness and shyness are smoothened, and a much wholesome, mature and polish personality emerges as a social individual”27
In Naga villages, different tribe has different name of dormitory. The Poumai Naga called dormitory as Kheloukizii or Reipeiki. Dormitory is known as Champo among the Lotha tribe, Arichei among the Aos, Dekhachang among the Sema and Lonsghin among the Tangkhul Naga. In Poumai Naga tribe, Kheloukizii was one of the important houses for the young men and women to train different arts of life and other aspects before they are married. Kheloukizii is decorated with skulls of buffaloes and man sculptured on the planks and hanged/attached to the front wall. The boys’ dormitory is known as “Khekizii” and girls’ dormitory is known as “Loukizii.” The young men and women go their own Kheloukizii to sleep after having dinner from their parents’ house.
Khekizii is one of the important social institutions.
There are 2-3 Khekizii in every village according to
the size of the village. Khekizii was an educational
institute for he Poumai Naga in antique. When the boys
attained adolescent they go to sleep in Khekizii with other
friends. It was prevailed during the headhunting and
strict discipline was taught and trained in different fields
in Khekizii. They also learnt the skill of Warrior, Photo: Morung :nagafairyusa.com)
Wrestling, Leadership, History, Folksong and dances, Folklore, Discipline, Teamwork, Morality and many other arts of life. Khekizii was not just a training center and houseto sleep but lots of fun and entertainment are carried out almost everyday. The boys help in cutting firewood and some other works for the owner of the Khekizii. There were also certain rules and regulations in the dormitory to maintain discipline and dwell together harmoniously with tranquillity. The seniors in Khekizii are the main leaders and every one was cooperative in the dormitory. The girls are restricted to enter in Khekizii but the boys could go to the girls’ dormitory and have entertainments with them. By nature, the Poumai Nagas are liberal and frankly with all the boys and girls as far as friendship is concerned. The boys generally go to Loukizii in groups to compete singing folksongs and other indoor games.
In girls’ dormitory (Loukizii), the young girls slept together in groups. Loukizii is another important social institution for the village girls. The girls go to their own Loukizii to sleep when they attained adolescent till they get marry. Elwin Verrier writes about the Nagas’ dormitory system as, “Prominent in many villages is the Morung or Dormitory for the young unmarried men-some tribes also have small houses for the unmarried girls. The Morung are guardhouses, recreation clubs, centers of education, art and discipline and have an important ceremonial purpose”28 In Loukizii, the girls are also trained in different fields. The girls also learned and trained in different aspects like, singing songs, dance, discipline, teamwork, folktale and many other womanly chores. The girls help the owner of Loukizii in carrying firewood at least twice in a year. The girls play “Chii” (a kind of mouth organ) and every girl is learned from their seniors or some one who is ace in playing Chii. In antique, courtship took place in Loukizii. The boys frequently visited the Loukizii in the evening to have fun with them also to court. In ancient time, courting had not privacy as today as the boys go in groups to Loukizii where many girls also present in Loukizii. The only way to show any attraction was through gesture and exchanging in romantic songs. Many young men and women were expert in singing romantic folksongs. They presented love songs to the girls or boys whom they like and through such kind of love songs presenting to each other and replying to the songs, they fell in love. The boys and girls are very candid and have fun together but molestation and immorality case was hardly known. Candidness is the nature of the Poumai Nagas and no boys take advantage on girls due to their candidness. Candidness among the boys and girls is still prevailed in all the Naga Hills and it is one of the best natures of the Nagas.
In antique, the young boys and girls are educated in different fields in the arts of life in Khekizii and Loukizii. But such kind of beautiful houses are no more existed in Poumai villages. Kheloukizii (dormitory) was mainly associated with the tribal religion, which existed during the headhunting between inter-villages and tribes. Today, about 98.5% of the total population in Poumai villages were converted to Christianity from their traditional religion and the dormitory system is totally vanished. If the British did not intervene in their headhunting, bring Christianity and educational institutions and expose to other people – their traditional dormitory system, illiteracy and traditional religion may be still vivid. However with the advent of British and Christianity in the area, the old traditional dormitory system was gradually vanished today.
Earlier the young men sleeping in the dormitory are trained in different skills in headhunting, folksongs and tales and other personality development. The vanishing of Kheloukizii greatly affected the personality development, in team works, folksongs, legends and folktales. The peace treaty and accepting Christianity had brought to end the dormitory system in the village. The vanishing of such kind of personality development training in Kheloukizii greatly affects in team works, folksongs, legends and folktales etc. Today only a few young men and women can sing folksongs or narrate the folktales.
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