“Where is he?” the mother screamed. Her son went missing this early morning. Biné had taken the opportunity to sneak out of the house while his mother was humming tunes and weaving a blue woven shawl on her backstrap loom. He ran as fast as he could all alone and cleverly started catching fish from the wet paddy fields. He saw the green rice sprouts had grown taller from the last time they planted, the morning sun gleamed the still waters and highlighted the snails like beads floating along his path. His only company was the spring song that his late grandmother taught him. He was just seven years old and the boy from Thuvopisu village.” – Imchatsung Imchen, Thuvopisu [Story build on a narrative by Mercy Tetseo]
|Maternal Aunt: Azu Kiivethilii|
Thuvopisu is a prominent village of the Chakhesang Tribe in Nagaland. It falls under Phek District, located about 80 kms from Kohima. I recently got an opportunity to travel with the Tetseo family who belong to this mystical village. The village holds prominence for its ideal location and served as a strategic route for the Japanese during the Second World War. Also known for its organic garlic farming and exports, every household of the village (and about six surrounding villages) obtains drinking water supply from the magical Dzüdü Lake.
The Chakhesang tribe of Nagaland are known for their musical expertise and the Tetseo family are a testament to that. The family consist of the parents, four sisters (Mercy, Azi, Lulu & Kuku) and a brother (Mhaseve). The four sisters are collectively known as the Tetseo Sisters and the brother Mhaseve is an exceptional independent musician and sound engineer.
Letters from Thuvopisu is a photo essay tribute inspired by a track ‘cepho celho’ from the first album of the Tetseo Sisters. The song narrates the reminiscence of youth and the seasons of change. The lyrics of the song are included in the images, which were captured during the shooting of an experimental ‘cepho celho’ video releasing very soon. All the woven pieces worn by the siblings in these photos were made by the mother of the family.
|Maternal Aunts: Azu Kiivethilii and Azu Kiidupralii|
|Letter to Azi|
|Mercy, Kuku, Lulu|