Folklore as Big History


Theyiesinuo Keditsu


Folklore in Indigenous and Tribal societies are storehouses of knowledge. Origin myths, stories about nature, flora, fauna, narratives about ancestors and histories about moments in time and places – they all coalesce to provide a people with a sense of place in this world, conferring identities and inculcating customs relating to their community and world. Drawing on folktales from the rich canon of Naga folklore, this paper looks at ways folklore offers an alternative arc for Big History. My presentation will take the form of storytelling, where I will share a few folktales to demonstrate how the timelessness of folklore serves to inform us of our place in time – a time where past, present and future fold into each other.


Author Biography

Theyiesinuo Keditsu, Kohima College, Kohima, Nagaland

Theyiesinuo Keditsu is a feminist poet, folklorist, writer, and educator. She is co-founder of the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge & Alternative Learning and advocates the revival of Indigenous Naga textiles and women’s narratives through her popular Instagram avatar: @mekhalamama. She has published two books of poetry, Sopfünuo and Wake, under the pen name T. Keditsu, and has contributed to a number of anthologies and journals in her academic and literary capacities. Her poem, ‘Whore,’ was translated into Gujarati by Sitanshu Yashaschandra. Theyiesinuo has a PhD in Cultural Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. A member of the Angami tribe, her research focuses on contemporary Naga culture, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous feminisms, and the oral and written literatures of Nagaland. She is widely sought as a motivational speaker and compére, and conducts trainings in diction, communication, performance, and creative writing. With over fifteen years of teaching, Theyie has taught at Sazolie College in Jotsoma (Nagaland) and at Hindu College and Delhi University. She is currently Assistant Professor in Kohima College, Kohima, Nagaland (India). She may be reached via <>.