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Mercy and Kuvelu Tetseo, Folk Artists

Sisters Mercy and Kuvelu demonstrate just how much importance their culture has had in forming their view of beauty. Inspired by their Naga heritage, they see beauty as so much more than skin deep.

As women who thrive on originality, it’s no surprise that Mercy and Kuvelu are striving to break the rules of beauty. Thanks to their Naga culture, beauty has always been about more than a set of physical requirements. One look at Naga folk stories and songs reveals a whole other concept of beauty, where strength of character and happy spirits are as important as good posture and a nice smile.

mercy and kuvelu
“I am learning to appreciate different concepts of beauty. I feel beautiful because I am able to take important, responsible decisions about life and work.” – Mercy and Kuvelu Tetseo

One half of a Naga folk band, with two other siblings, this belief is something they regularly put into practise. But it’s not easy to inherit beliefs: it can still take time to realise that breaking the rules is okay.

“As a young girl, my idea of beauty was influenced by what I was told was beautiful and not what I thought,” says Kuvelu. Mercy shares her beauty evolution, “I am learning to appreciate different concepts of beauty,” she says. In the meantime, the sisters are concentrating on appreciating different forms of beauty than the conventional rules we’re taught to follow.

“After all,” says Kuvelu, “being stylish is a job, but being beautiful is a lifelong project.