Nagaland is a state in Northeast India. It borders the state of 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 is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur. It has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states of India.
The state is inhabited by 16 major tribes - Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Kachari, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Kuki, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yimchunger, and Zeme-Liangmai (Zeliang) as well as sub-tribes. Each tribe is unique in character with its own distinct customs, language and dress.
Two threads common to all are language and religion. English is in predominant use. Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is mostly Christian.
Nagaland became the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963. Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes, and fibres. Other significant economic activity includes forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries.
The state has experienced insurgency as well as inter-ethnic conflict since the 1950s. The violence and insecurity have long limited Nagaland's economic development, because it had to commit its scarce resources on law, order, and security.In the last 15 years, the state has seen less violence and annual economic growth rates nearing 10% on a compounded basis: one of the fastest in the region.
The state is mostly mountainous except those areas bordering Assam valley which comprises 9% of the total area of the state. Mount Saramati is the highest peak at 3,840 metres and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Burma.It lies between the parallels of 98 and 96 degrees east longitude and 26.6 and 27.4 degrees latitude north. The state is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna.
Hornbill Festival Was Launched By The Government Of Nagaland In December 2000 To Encourage Intertribal Interaction And To Promote Cultural Heritage Of The State. Organized By The State Tourism Department And Art & Culture Department. Hornbill Festival Showcases A Melange Of Cultural Displays Under One Roof. This Festival Takes Place Between 1 And 10 December Every Year.
It Is Held At Naga Heritage Village, Kisama Which Is About 12 Km From Kohima. All The Tribes Of Nagaland Take Part In This Festival. The Aim Of The Festival Is To Revive And Protect The Rich Culture Of Nagaland And Display Its History, Culture And Traditions.
The Festival Is Named After The Hornbill Bird, Which Is Displayed In Folklores In Most Of The States Tribes. The Week-long Festival Unites Nagaland And People Enjoy The Colourful Performances, Crafts, Sports, Food Fairs, Games And Ceremonies. Traditional Arts Which Include Paintings, Wood Carvings, And Sculptures Are On Display. Festival Highlights Include Traditional Naga Morungs Rxhibition And Sale Of Arts And Crafts, Food Stalls, Herbal Medicine Stalls, Shows And Sales, Cultural Medley - Songs And Dances, Fashion Shows, Beauty Contest, Traditional Archery, Naga Wrestling, Indigenous Games And Musical Concerts. Additional Attractions Include The Konyak Fire Eating Demonstration, Pork-fat Eating Competitions, The Hornbill Literature Festival (including The Hutton Lectures), Hornbill Global Film Fest, Hornbill Ball, Choral Panorama, North East India Drum Ensemble, Naga King Chilli Eating Competition, Hornbill National Rock Contest,hornbill International Motor Rally And Ww-ii Vintage Car Rally.
The Konyaks Tribe Who Live In The Mon District Celebrate The Aoleang Festival In The First Week Of April For Six Days. The Festival Is Celebrated After Sowing. The Festival Is Observed To Seek Blessings Of Lord "yongwan" For A Good Harvest. The Six Days Of The Festival Are Known By Different Names Such As: (1) Hoi Lai Yah Nyih (2) Yin Mak Pho Nyih (3) Yin Mok Sheh Nhih (4) Lingnyu Nyih (5) Lingha Nyih And (6) Lingshan Nyih. During The Festival, Young And Old Alike Dress In Traditional Attire With Feathers In Their Head And Perform Traditional Dance And Sing Folklore.
Angamis, A Tribe Of Nagaland Celebrate Sekrenyi, A 10 Day Long Festival In February. The Festival Starts On The 25th Day Of The Angami Month Of "kezei". Sekrenyi Is Also Known As "phousnyi". On The Eve Of The Festival, The Village Well Is Thoroughly Cleaned For The Elders Of The Village To Take Bath. No One Is Allowed To Draw Water After The Well Is Cleaned. Two Youth Are Also Posted To Guard The Well. On The First Day Of The Festival The Elders Take The Ceremonial Bath In The Well. Cleaning Of The Well Symbolises The Cleaning Away Of The Sins Or Misfortunes. On The Day Of The Festival, Men Wear Two New Shawls, The White Mhoushu And The Black Lohe And Sprinkle Water On Right Arm, Breast And Knees. This Ritual Of Sprinkling Water Is Known As "dzuseva" And Is Believed To Wash Away All The Past Sins. On Returning Home After The Bath, A Cock Is Strangled With Bare Hands. It Is Considered As A Good Omen If The Right Leg Of The Cock Falls Down First. The Cock Is Then Hung Outside The Home, Which Is Then Inspected By The Elders Of The Village. It Is From The Fourth Day That The Merriment Begins Which Lasts For Three Days. Young People Sing And Dance Throughout The Day During Which Rice Beer And Meat Is Served. People Go On Hunting On The Seventh Day Of The Festival And On The Eighth Day Competitions Such As Gate Pulling Or Bridge Pulling Is Held When People From Nearby Villages Also Participate. Agriculture Related Work Begins After The End Of The Festivities. An Important Ritual Of The Festival Is Few Drops Of Rice Water Is Taken From A Jug Called As Zumbo And Put Into The Leaves. This Is Then Placed At Three Main Posts Of The House By The Lady Of The House.
The Ao Tribe Observe The Festival From 1- 3 Of May After Sowing Of Seeds For Three Days. Bon Fire, Known As Sangpangtu Is Prepared And Men And Women Dressed In Their Traditional Attire And Jewellery Sit Around The Bon Fire. Pigs And Cows Reared Through The Year Are Slaughtered And The Meat Is Served Along With Rice Beer And Wine To Men. This Festival Is Strictly Celebrated By The Villagers Of Ao Tribe. Before The Start Of The Festival, The Village Gates Are Closed And Entry And Exit Of People Not Belonging To The Village Is Restricted. Traditional Song And Dances Mark The Celebrations. As Part Of The Festivities, Tug Of War Is Held Between Men And Women. The Festival Is Celebrated In Mokokchung District, The Home Of Ao Tribe.
Ao Tribes Celebrate The Festival During 1-3 August Before The Harvest. Prior To The Beginning Of The Festival, The Village Head Will Declare The Village As Closed. The Entry And Exit Into The Village Is Guarded By The Villagers. This Is An Occasion Of Thanksgiving To The Almighty For Giving A Good Crop. Young Men And Women Dress In Their Traditional Finery And Indulge In Fun And Frolic. On This Occasion, Tug Of War Between Men And Women Draws People From All Over The Village.
This Is An Important Festival Of The Chakhesang Tribe. The Festival Is Observed On 6th May For Four Days. On The Day Of The Festival, The Village Priest Kills The First Cock That Crowed In The Morning. Men Take Bath In A Place Designated For Bathing And Dress In New Clothes. After The Bath, Prayers Are Offered To The Almighty Seeking Peace, Prosperity, Good Health And Harvest. During The Festival, Only The Best Male Domesticated Animals Are Slaughtered. New Wine Will Be Prepared. All The Family Members Enjoy The Meat And Other Delicacies Prepared For The Festival. Games, Dance And Other Competitions Are Organised Between Various Groups. At The End Of The Festival, The Articles Used In Merry Making Will Be Stored Away Till Next Year. Celebrations Of Any Kind Are Forbidden After The Festival.
The 16 Main Tribes Of Nagaland Are Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Dimasa Kachari, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Kuki, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yimchunger, And Zeliang. The Angamis, Aos, Konyaks, Lothas, And Sumis Are The Largest Naga Tribes; There Are Several Smaller Tribes As Well (see List Of Naga Tribes). Tribe And Clan Traditions And Loyalties Play An Important Part In The Life Of Nagas. Weaving Is A Traditional Art Handed Down Through Generations In Nagaland. Each Of The Tribe Has Unique Designs And Colours, Producing Shawls, Shoulder Bags, Decorative Spears, Table Mats, Wood Carvings, And Bamboo Works. Among Many Tribes The Design Of The Shawl Denotes The Social Status Of The Wearer. Some Of The More Known Shawls Include 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 Etc. Folk Songs And Dances Are Essential Ingredients Of The Traditional Naga Culture. The Oral Tradition Is Kept Alive Through Folk Tales And Songs. Naga Folks Songs Are Both Romantic And Historical, With Songs Narrating Entire Stories Of Famous Ancestors And Incidents. There Are Also Seasonal Songs Which Describe Activities Done In An Agricultural Season. Tribal Dances Of The Nagas Give An Insight Into The Inborn Naga Reticence Of The People. War Dances And Other Dances Belonging To Distinctive Naga Tribes Are A Major Art Form In Nagaland.
Nagaland Is Home To The Bhut Jolokia Or Ghost Pepper, One Of The Hottest Chilis In The World At 855,000 Shu On The Scoville Scale. All The Tribes Of Nagaland Have Their Own Cuisine, And They Use A Lot Of Meat, Fish, And Fermented Products In Their Dishes. However, The State Dish Is Smoked Pork Cooked With Fermented Soya Bean. Naga Dishes Use A Lot Of Locally Grown Herbs, Ghost Peppers, Ginger And Garlic. Famous Dishes Include Snails Cooked With Pork And Silk Worm Larvae, Which Is An Expensive Delicacy Of The State. Galho Is A Vegetarian Porridge Cooked With Rice, Leaves And Condiments. Drinks Include Zutho And Thutse, Beers Made With Sticky Rice.
Wood Craft, Drinking Vessel Cane Is A Material Which They Use To Make Many Things Like Sofa, Chairs, Baskets, And Storage Materials Because It Is Soft And Easy To Handle. The Baskets And Storage Materials Are Made By Weaving Canes Which Looks Very Sophisticated And The Maze-like Weaving Done Is Really Very Tedious Process. Some Of The Baskets Made Are Not Dyed While Some Baskets Are Made With Canes Dyed In Different Colours. The Storage Materials And Baskets Are Made In Various Shapes And Sizes And Are Apt For Daily Uses.
Bamboo Baskets Wood Carvings By Naga Tribes Are Wonderful, Works Like These Are Rarely Found These Days. They Use Simple Tools To Make Fine Carvings On The Wooden Materials And Make Vases, Bowls And Cups. Wood Crafting Once Was A Very Important Source Of Income Of The Naga People, So It Is Natural That They Are Very Good In This Area. These Wooden Crafts Can Be Used For Decoration Purpose; A Wooden Vase In Our Home Can Bring An Ethnic Touch.
Weaving Naga Bags We Have Already Said About How The Famous Naga Shawls Are Weaved And It Is A Very Important Skill Among All The Naga Tribes. Apart From The Shawls, They Also Weave To Make Handbags And Jackets. For This Purpose, The Popular Loin Loom Was Used By The Weavers, A Technique In Which The Naga Tribes Excel. As The Time Has Passed, The Fly Shuttle Loom However Has Become Very Popular Among The Weavers. The Decorations Or The Patterns Used For Making The Bags And The Other Things From One Tribe To Another; However Each Tribe Draw Cues From Their Own Traditions. Earlier Natural Dyes Were Used Which Has Been Replaced By The Artificial Colours. Cowrie Shells And Beads Were Used To Describe The Economical Status Of The Person Who Carried The Bags, Now These Are Added To The Handlooms For The Purpose Of Decoration Only.