Dimapur, October 9: Padma Shri Dr. Temsüla Ao, passed away on Sunday night at Eden Medical Centre in Dimapur. She was 80.
The renowned poet, novelist and ethnographer – easily identifiable by her crown of grey hair as she entered dotage – was one of the leading literary voices to have emerged from the Northeast.
She was awarded Padma Shri in 2007. Two years later, in 2009, she received the Nagaland Governor’s Award for Distinction in Literature. Same year, she was awarded Governor’s Gold Medal by the Government of Meghalaya.
Temsüla retired in 2010 as Professor of English, and also as Dean of School of Humanities and Education at North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, where she had been teaching since 1975.
In 2013, she was the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award for her collection of short stories Laburnum for My Head.
From 1992-97, she served as Director of North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur on Deputation from NEHU, and was Fulbright Fellow to University of Minnesota, 1985-86.
Her works have been translated into German, French, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada and Hindi.
Temsüla spent 12 years recording the rituals, customs, laws, folktales, myths, belief systems and the like, which was published in 1999 as the ethnographic work The Ao-Naga Oral Tradition.
She was born in October 1942 in Jorhat, Assam.
(Page News Service)