Round Glass Sustain | January 15, 2024
Under the cloak of the night, my field partner Theja and I commenced an extraordinary journey deep into the heart of the Kami Village in Nagaland’s remote Phek district. Guided by the faint gleam of stars above and an elderly villager, Uncle Azo, an expert in hornet harvesting, we walked uphill. The dense forest canopy made our path even darker, and the creepy understory felt almost impenetrable. A not-so-gentle drizzle made the already enchanting surroundings even more mystical. A pristine stream, its water as clear as the daytime sky, was flowing gracefully by our side. The air was filled with a symphony of nature’s sounds and the gentle babbling of the stream harmonised with the whispers of the forest. It was not an ordinary trek, but a quest for nature’s most formidable insect — the Asian giant hornet. This journey was to reveal the traditions among the indigenous communities of Nagaland, for whom giant hornets hold a unique place.