When sacred land is converted into public spaces, how does this affect the memory and lives of the Karbi: A case study of Chomkan -3 and -4

The article deals with the concept of ‘Chomkan’ performed by the Karbi tribe in North East India. This rite is one of the most important rituals of the Karbis. It is the post-funeral ritual of the Karbis and deals with various aspects of life and death, including rebirth and regeneration in the next life. The Karbis’ verbal and non-verbal art forms reflect the philosophy and worldview of the Chomkan ritual. Chomkan is a very complex, multi-layered and elaborate cultural and social event. It is a communal ritual that is very chaotic, colourful and expensive. A large number of people from the respective clan as well as the entire population of the village are needed to perform the ritual. Each family traditionally and historically had a specific place or location where the Chomkan was performed. This research paper will discuss the significance of the Chomkan ritual for the Karbis, focusing particularly on the question of the particular impact and memories of a family member. It will address the difficulties faced by the family in coping with the current rate of urbanisation and the consequences faced by the workers in the construction of the KASA stadium or public spaces.