THE MEANING OF THE WORD ‘CHANG’
The word chang is derieved from the word ‘CHANGENNYU’ which means ‘standing tall’ or ‘towering above its surrounding’.
ORIGIN OF THE CHANG TRIBE
It is believed that the Chang tribe originated from a particular peepal tree (Chongnyu) which was exceptional tall and huge and could be seen from every direction. Because of the tree’s exceptional and outstanding structure it was described as ‘CHANGENNYU’ in Chang dialect which means ‘standing tall’ or ‘towering above its surrounding’.
According to Chang oral narrations and history, before man became conscious or aware of his own self and existence he was living in perfect harmony with all the living creatures. In fact it is said that man’s relationship with other living creatures was to such extent that he was able to freely communicate with every living creature around him and vice versa. An instance where such a relationship existed is exemplified in the relationship which man shared with the tiger and its gradual deterioration as man slowly became aware of his own self and existence. This special relationship is not only filled with instinctive communications but also with songs and dances which man shared with the tiger. Till today the Chang’s revere and remember the place where man danced with the tiger (MOLO-DOMSHANG) in Chang dialect and the famous meaning of the song and theme ‘SALAPONG’ which means the tiger will devour the man. However as man became increasingly self aware, he departed ways with his fellow creatures, even the tiger.
Subsequently, as man attained consciousness, they settled together as a community at their place of origin. This place was the first Chang settlement or village and is known as ‘Changsang’, ‘sang’ which means village in Chang dialect. Changsang is located 22km from Tuensang town, located between Tuensang village and Hakchang village.
ORIGINS OF CLANS, THEIR NOMENCLATURE, RULES AND FUNCTIONS
As man started to live in a community, he felt the need to make rules to maintain social order. And thus, in the famous ‘Müilangshon/Müishon’ or platform, the first rules of social order and the subsequent division of Chang community into four separate clans, their rules and function, nomenclature etc…was formulated and put into practice at Changsang village.
Nomenclature, rules and function of the four clans of the Chang tribe was constituted under Müilangshon’ (community platform to constitute social order)
NAMES OF THE FOUR CLANS OF THE CHANG TRIBE ARE:
- Chongpho Hongang
NAMES SPECIFIC TO PARTICULAR CLANS:
One of the unique significance of Chang tribe is that each clan is identified by its own name. some of the names belonging to different clans are:
- Oungh’s name
Male: Thungti, Thungpang, Chongma, Chongshen
Female: Nati, Thonti, Anti
- Kangshou’s name
Male: Naset, Nabam, Namang, Beshang, Naiyang, Yampe Sapa
Female: Naong, Sungmo
- Lomou’s name:
Male: Beso, Bumat, Bin, Bamo
Female: Nasen, Nyimang, Beti
- Chongpho Hongang’s name:
Male:Hongsa, Sayou, Ayen, Koma, Themthem, Manchem, Ellem, Hongkin
Female: Chongki, Thungpang, Noktok, Kebo Tajung, Thonti, Mongku
FUNCTION OF DIFFERENT CLANS:
- Clearing of jungle during village settlement/ formation/ construction
- Occupying the role as village headman during any event related to log drums and morung
- Taking lead in hand washing ceremony whenever and enemy’s head is brought back to the village after headhunting expeditions
- Calculating (moon calendar) and setting date, time, duration for the celebration of Naknyulüm festival of the Chang
- They take the lead in clearing the jungle for jhum cultivation
- Take the lead to sow or plant the first seeds
- Taking the lead to light the fire in ceremonies/ events
- Taking the lead to pray/call for rain/sun
- Takes the lead to reap millet
- First to taste new harvest
- First to harvest
- Infestation of field is controlled by this clan
- Treating the injured/wounded
Chongpho Hongang clan:
- In the beginning of every year this clan performs rituals in the entrance gate of the village, by releasing poultry to keep the villagers free from diseases and ritually dedicate all the bridges surrounding the village.
- Calculating (moon calendar) and setting date, time, duration for Puanglüm festival
- Role of community announcement of news/ information
From the Changsang village the Chang community migrated to different new locations after staying at Changsang village for three generation.
IMPORTANT FESTIVALS OF CHANG TRIBE:
- Poang Lüm: this festival is celebrated from 12th -14th January every year
- Kundang Lüm: This festival is celebrated on 1st April every year
- Naknyu Lüm: This festival is celebrated from 31st July -1st August every year