Land of the Enchanting Nagas – Nagaland

Nagaland is a state located in the Northeast India. This is one of the smallest states in India.The state borders Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital of Nagaland is Kohima. The state has an area of 16,579 square kilometre and has a population of about 1 million people.

Map of Nagaland
Map of Nagaland (Source: http://www.nagalandconservation.in/)

History of Nagaland:
The history of Nagaland has been unclear, the old Sanskrit scripture says that Kiratas, people with distinct culture lived here on the mountains who migrated from some land. The Nagas are predicted to belong to the Mongoloid race. Different tribes have migrated and settled in the north-east over the time. Historic records show that the Naga people today have been settled before the Ahoms arrived in the 12th century. The origin of the word “Naga” was originated from the Burmese word, “Naka” which means people with earrings.

History of nagaland
History of nagaland (Source: indiaadvices.com)

Traditional wear of Nagaland:

The prominent dressing of the Naga dress is the shawl. The men wear the famous black shawl called as “Ratapfe” which is embroidered with 3 to 4 lines. The western Angami villages have different style of clothing. The men also wear stylish costumes like “Phichupfe”. They use Lothas’ shawl during functions. The women wear blue and white cloth which have huge black bands on it. The Angami women wear sleeveless top called “vatchi”, “neikhro” which is a petticoat, ”pfemhou” which is a white skirt. Other tribe women wear “Ze-liangs-rongs” where the skirt has red and black colour border.

Traditional wear of Nagaland
Traditional wear of Nagaland (Source: industrialtour.com)

Culture of Nagaland:

The Nagaland culture is made up of sixteen different tribes like Chang, Yimchunger, Angami, Zeliang, Phom, Khiamniungan, sumi, Pochury, Lotha, Aos, Ao, Dimasa Kachari, Konyak, Rengma and Kuki. Some of these make up the largest tribes. The traditions, culture and loyalty is very important part of the tribes.

The traditional art in Nagaland is weaving which is done by the women. Each tribe produce their own and unique designs and colours of shawls, decorative spears, bags, bamboo works, table mats and wood carvings. Some of the shawls are Tsungkotepsu and Rongsu of the Ao tribe; Sutam, Ethasu, Longpensu of the Lothas; Supong of the Sangtams, Rongkhim and Tsungrem Khim of the Yimchungers; the Angami Lohe shawls with thick embroidered animal motifs and many more. The Naga culture also inherits dance and music which is an essential part of its tradition. There are various dance forms of different tribe which include the folk dances, war dances and other dances. The music also includes traditional folk music and seasonal songs, songs dedicated to ancestors, nature, love, agriculture and much more. The Naga tribes are an important part of the Nagaland culture.

Culture of Nagaland
Culture of Nagaland (source: http://www.nagablog.com/)

Dance of Nagaland:

There are various traditional dance forms in Nagaland which is the main component of the Nagaland culture. Women and men together perform the dance in a synchronized way. There are mainly two types of dance forms the folk dance of Zeliang Tribe and Zemis Tribe. In the Zeliang Tribe male mostly perform and women in the folk dance. The Zemis Tribe performs on various ceremonies and there is a separate dance for everything with different steps.

Dance of Nagaland
Dance of Nagaland (Source: http://www.icimod.org/)

Nagaland music:

The traditional Naga music involves folk songs and tales. The folk songs usually depict history and romance, narrating the stories of ancestors and incidents. There are songs for the agricultural season and even seasonal songs describing various activities. The folk music also represents the brave deeds of the traditional heroes and poetic stories. Each tribe has their different tradition of music. Zeliand folk is among the popular folk which has songs like Neuleu, Hereileu, Hekialeu ans Heliamleu.

Cuisines:

The Naga Cuisine often involves smoked, dried and fermented meat and fish dishes in their cuisine. The local dish consists of rice, a meat dish, a boiled vegetable dish and a chutney called as,”Tathu”. The most common and popular dish is the fermented bamboo dish along with fish or pork. They also have “Axone” which is boiled, smoked or sun dried soyabean along with smoked beef or pork. They eat spicy food and add lots of chillies of different varieties grown in Nagaland. Sichuan pepper is the most popular spice used in almost every dish.

Cuisines
Cuisines

Festival in Nagaland:

Nagaland is the land of festivals and people here celebrate festivals which are unique in culture and heritage. Mostly the state celebrates all the Christian festivals. Some tribe related festivals are also celebrated here. Some of the major significant festivals are Sekrenyi, Moatsu, Tsungremong, Tsukhenyie, Sekrenyi, Kundanglem, Nuknyu Lem, Bushu Jiba, Baisagn, Miu Festival, Tsokum, Aoleang Monyu, Mimkut, Tokhu Emong, Monyu, Moha, Bongvum, Yemshe, Hega, Langsimyi/Changa Gadi, and Mileinyi, Ngadah, Amongmong, Ahuna, Tuluni, Metumniu and Tsungkamniu, which are celebrated throughout the year.

The Sekrenyie festival is 10 day festival in February, celebrated to invoke god for good fortune.

Sekrenyi Festival
Sekrenyi Festival (source: http://www.nelive.in/)

Tuluni festival is celebrated as a harvest festival in the July month. The Tsungrem Mong is also a harvest festival celebrated in August. Tokhu Emong the harvest festival in November. Moatsu festival in which rites and rituals are performed by the Naga people in May.

The Yemshe festival is celebrated in October and is a grand festival celebrated in the arrival of new harvest. The Hornbill festival is a grand festival celebrated in December, is a colourful festival celebrated to protect tradition and heritage of Nagaland.

Bushu is a festival celebrated post-harvest in January. The Naga people wear the traditional Naga dress which is a shawl with “Lohe” and the men wear “Pichchupfe”.

Major cities of Nagaland:

The Major cities of Nagaland are Kohima which is the capital, Dimapur, Longleng, Mokokchung, Kiphire, Mon District, Wokha, Peren, Tuensang, Phek and Zunheboto.

The state capital Kohima is a picturesque town famous for museum, catholic cathedral, zoological park and war cemetery.

Kohima City
Kohima City (source: www.mapsofindia.com)

The Phek District located in southern part famous for Flora and fauna and the three rivers.

The Mokokchung district is famous for the six distinct hill ranges.
The Wokha town is famous for fruits like passion fruits, pineapples, oranges, plums and banana.

Reference links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagaland

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naga_cuisine

http://www.indianetzone.com/1/naga_dance.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Nagaland

http://traditionalclothingindia.blogspot.in/2013/09/traditional-costumes-of-nagaland-for.html

http://www.indianetzone.com/5/festivals_nagaland.htm

http://www.webindia123.com/nagaland/people/dresornam.htm

http://www.indianetzone.com/7/cities_nagaland.htm