Mizoram is situated at a unique cusp in Northeast India, in terms of both physical and social contexts. It shares its borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, while cultural influences range from the indigenous to the Western. This book offers an alternative understanding of the modern history of Mizoram through an analysis of its cultural practices through language, music, poetry and festivals. It explores the roots of modern cultural works not just in Christianity, but also in pre-colonial Mizo traditional practices. The authors closely examine text, performance and sculptural images, including the first handwritten newspaper Mizo Chanchin Laisuih (1898) and the Puma Zai festival (1907–11) from the early colonial period along with a contemporary sculptural image. They argue that cultural works open up to new forms of interpretations and responses over time. The book indicates that the Mizo creative sensibility enmeshed in theological, capitalistic-material and political/ideological regimes informs its modern enclosures be it region, religion or nation.
This book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of cultural studies, literature, media, history, politics, sociology and social anthropology, area studies, Northeast India studies and South Asian studies.
P. Thirumal is Professor at the Department of Communication, S. N. School of Arts & Communication, University of Hyderabad, Telangana, India.
Laldinpuii teaches English at Government Aizawl West College, Mizoram, India.
C. Lalrozami is Programme Coordinator at the Directorate of State Council for Educational Research and Training, Aizawl, Mizoram, India.