Why Sophi Put His Gun Down


Why Sophi Put His Gun Down

Illustration: Namaah/ Arré


ver since he turned 23, Michael Megovisa Sophi had taken pride in being one of the Angami tribe’s most sought-after hunters. Hunting is a way of life for Naga tribals. It’s a practice steeped in tradition; codes and ciphers are handed down through generations like priceless heirlooms. It’s the bond of brotherhood. For the Angami tribe, hunting is sacred; it signifies sustenance and survival.

“If it moves, we want to know how it tastes,” used to be Sophi’s unapologetic response to anyone who’d ask him why the Nagas hunt. Sophi was the top pick for any expedition, not only because he was a skilled hunter, but also because he could be counted upon to be the storyteller during dark nights of endless wait. He was also considered to be a lucky charm, since his presence would almost always guarantee the team their prey.