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The father of Naga folk blues' wins Excellence Award

Guru Rewben Mashangva popularly known as “the father of Naga Folk blues” and “the cultural

ambassador of the Nagas” has been conferred “the Northeast Excellence Award” in music for 2009 for his contribution in the field of Naga folk music. The award was given away at the inaugural session of the

5th Northeast East Business Summit on 8th January 2010 at Hyatt Regency Kolkatta in the august gathering including hon'ble minister for DoNER Shri Bijoy Khrishna Handique, Chief Ministers of the northeast states and foreign delegates from Southeast Asian countries.

In the evening, Guru Rewben along with his 8 year old son Saka Mashangva enthralled the audience with his trademark of Naga folk music in the ball room of the 5star hotel.  He also thanked the organizers The Indian Chamber of commerce for recognizing the dying folk tradition of the Nagas -the rich folk songs.

It is to be noted that Rewben has already been honored with the state Kala Akademi Award in 2005. Hailing from Choithar village of Ukhrul district in Manipur, he has to travel to remote villages of the district seeking old folk masters to listen to their folk songs. He laments that as the younger generation of the Tangkhul Nagas are only interested in the gaudy sophisticated culture of the West, the native rich folk music will die gradually as the old masters die due to old age. So the Guru has been struggling for the last 18 years to preserve and popularize it in his own community and to the outside world at large.

He says he is lucky to have his God send wife Happy who has been immensely supporting the family on her own when the Guru is selfishly engrossed in his own pursuit. He is also grateful to Keith Wallang and Anungla of Springboard Surprises, Shillong who has been managing him since a couple of years from now without any monetary motive.

Guru Rewben is now main subject of a documentary film “SONGS OF MASHANGVA” which is being directed by ex-tv producer, a young and talented filmmaker Oinam Doren which is in its last stage of production. The film is being planned to be screen at colleges and universities across the country and music fest around the world to make the younger generation familiar with the Naga folk music tradition. He will also compose music and appear in another feature film in development by Oinam Doren “The lonely village”, a funny and nostalgic film of how a Naga village disappeared from the planet.