Kigwema Village: Perspective of a welcoming village museum
– Rebuilding , Recreating Itself As A Community Shelter Post-Fatal Memories
When we speak of Second World War and its Indian connection, two names instantly strike our mind….Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the INA under his leadership and Nagaland. Nagaland was the place which witnessed the actual brutality of a war. Not only the civilian, but also the military fall victim to it. Villages after villages were burnt down, hundreds of people were killed, girls were assaulted, militaries with big bruises and no ration had to suffer, Surgent Yusumasa Nishiji of 20th Independent engineering regiment visualised this time in his memory- We all were waiting for death. Nobody knew who are the people around us, where do they come from. We named that road Human Remains Highway.
Kigwema an Angami hilly village, not very far from the Kohima town, is one of the many places, which once undergone the attack of the Japanese troupe on 4-4-44, exactly at 3-30 pm. This village was attacked by the Japanese military. They jumped over this tiny locality and in no time burnt it down completely. People were killed, many were injured, they ran here and there to save their life. That very moment is still alive in the memory of the elders and in the narration of the younger generation.
The simplicity stone memorial constructed exactly at the beginning of the village area is something that goes along with this brutality. Besides the uniqueness of the Angami lifestyle that the village folk is still maintaining is also worth-seeing.
Now, a popular tourist spot, Kigwema village has attracted tourists, students and people from all walks of life over the years. Overcoming its tensed past, this village has stood strong against the fatal memory which it carries everyday and has remained successful in developing itself as a community village.
The prime attraction and some salient features of the village are
- The Inscribed Stone Memorial
- Traditional wooden houses
- Community shelter
- Community well
- Jhum cultivation fields
One can walk around the passages inside the village and can also peek inside the houses of the residents. Hearing about those historical times from the elderly people over a cup of tea is another added fascination and thrill to the entire visit.