The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

sound recording - "Inde-Nagaland : Chant des tribus Sema et Zeliang"

caption: morung song from the village of Nnanluang, "Nnanluang piu lui"
medium: sound
ethnicgroup: Zeliang
location: Nnanluang
date: 1985
person: Maison du Culture du Monde, Paris
text: This very old morung song is sung by N.C. Zeliang. It would normally last several hours.
"I am at Nnanluang
I desire one thing only: to meet my beloved
She is like the fish which swims in the great waterfalls
When I see her in the evening, she lights up the sleeping quarters of the girls' morung
This evening I have asked if I may stay near her
It's dark and the road is covered with thick fog
I'm afraid to walk on my own in this darkness.
I want to stay with her.
Things are said in the village about a pretty girl
But this conversation won't change anything within me
I know I am a poor man
And I perhaps won't be able to take the wife I would have wished.
My beloved flowers from day to day
Like a perfumed forest bud.
In the days of her early youth
When she was living in the village
Everything went well, and her beauty entranced
The villagers just as it did visitors from outside
Her beauty will burn my heart even if I cannot have her for my wife.
When the winter comes, the men take a long rest
And she, with the women, spins and weaves in the morung
We hide the sadness of our eyes with smiles
My beloved's beauty shines throughout the whole region
She looks like a young hornbill of the forest
Which perches close to the morung
Her movements are like those of the stars in the sky which determine all our movements
When the season of clouds comes
The orchids fade and rot
Thus also goes the beauty of girls when they marry
The time has come for my beloved to marry
But I cannot be suitable for her, for I am dedicated more to war than to love
Let people say what they will about what I do
I will continue to lead my life
Until the day I quit this earth"