Saturday, April 19, 2008

Koza - Legendary Father of the Angamis

Koza - Legendary Father of the Angamis

According to legend, Koza was the legendary leader of the Angamis in Medieval China. Koza was a man of genius and spearheaded the migration of the Angamis from Medieval China. The Angamis call themselves Tenyimia and the Tenyimia group includes not only the Angamis but also the Chakesang, Zeliang, Pochury and Rengma in Nagaland state and some other tribes in Manipur and Assam. Legend says that Koza was guided towards his final destination by supernatural guidance. He had a supernatural walking staff which would be dropped down to the ground after praying to Ukepenuopfu- The Feminine Creator of the Angamis. The staff would show the direction they had to take for the whole day. The Tenyimias reached the present village of Mekhrora in Manipur state and settled down. Legend also tells that it was at this place that Koza’s walking staff supernaturally grew into a tree after a few days. The tree is still found at Mekhrora village in Manipur. This tree was highly revered in ancient times and the falling of the leaves of the tree would prophecy the deaths that would take place for the coming year. If the leaves fell to the right side then some villages in that direction would suffer death.

Legend tells us that one day a white dove kept hovering above them at Mekhrora. They realized that this was a supernatural guidance and so Koza and his some of his followers followed the dove. The dove went north of Mekhrora and settled down on a stone at present Khezakenoma site. The dove would fly a little bit and settle on the stone again and again. Koza realized that this stone must be a supernatural stone and went near the stone. They found a frog with a grain of rice on its mouth. They took the grain of rice from the stone for agriculture. This incident confirmed that the stone was a supernatural one. Legend says that one load of rice kept on this supernatural stone would turn into two loads of rice in the evening. Two loads of rice kept on the stone would produce four loads of rice. After some time, Koza died and his grandsons started fighting among themselves for the possession of the stone. Fearing they would kill themselves, their grandmother burned the stone with fire. The supernatural stone exploded with a loud bang and ever since lost its supernatural properties. This stone is still there at Khezakenoma, broken into pieces when it was burned with fire. Khezakenoma grew economically poorer and the descendants of Koza had to migrate to other places.

Legend says that the forefather of the Angamis was the eldest son of Koza and his descendants migrated from Khezakenoma to settle and develop new villages. The first settler of Kohima village was Usou who migrated from Khezakenoma. Kohima village is the heart of Angami civilization. Located at the heart of Angami area, it is the biggest Angami village and the biggest village in Asia.

Koza Legendary Father of the Angamis

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