on a green hillside stands a line of dead trees, looking like driftwood
If you are wondering why it looks likes there’s an outline of a tennis court in the middle of this cemetery and war memorial, it’s because that’s what was there when the Japanese were assaulting British – Indian forces back during the Second World War.
Wealthy villagers in Nagaland earn merit by constructing circular stages like this one on which festival activities can be conducted. (Or, during non-festival times, grain can be put out to dry as per this photo.) I put “Town Square” in quotes because they are neither square in shape nor are they solitary centrally-located public spaces. Rather there can be several of them– as there are in Khonoma, a village near Kohima — at various locations in and around the village. The little cubic pillars are seats, some of which may be assigned to prominent individuals and others are open seating.
The basket put upside-down on the pillar is typical of the region, and is worn with the band across one’s forehead.
The building in the back is also a public building constructed by a prominent villager.
A few of these circles are located throughout the village in front of the properties of wealthy villagers who made merit through acts of charity. They are used to get together during festivals (or for drying rice as seen above.) Some of the seats are reserved for village elders and others are free for first-come-first-served.