Nagaland - Destination Unexplored
One of the smallest states of the Indian Union, Nagaland is yet to be explored, as far as tourist destinations are concerned. Nagaland is entirely a remote terrain and the mesmerizing sceneries surrounding it makes Nagaland, a place worth a visit for those adventurous in spirit.
Nagaland consists of the former Naga hills districts of Assam and the former Tuensang frontier divisions. Administered earlier by the President, Nagaland was made a state on 1st December 1963. Nagaland consists of seven Administrative Districts, inhabited by 16 major tribes along with other sub-tribes. Each tribe is distinct in character from the other in terms of customs, language and dress.
The Nagas are a handsome and friendly people. High cheek bones, almond eyes, sparkling teeth and bronzed skin set the Nagas apart. In colourful tribal outfits, with bamboo shields sheathed in bear skin and decorated spears, the Nagas are simple people,
almost entirely tribal. There are 16 tribes, each having its own dialect, customs and traditional costumes, with the familiar link being their love for music, dance and pageantry. The social position of a Naga is borne out by the number of bone necklaces he wears.
The Major Naga Tribes
Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamniungan, Kuki, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sumi, Sangtam, Yimchungru, Zeliang.
The Nagas belong to the Indo-Mongoloid family. The fourteen major Naga tribes are the Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khemungan, Konyak, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema, Yimchunger and Zeliang. The Chakhesangs were earlier known as Eastern Angamis and are a combination of the Chakri, Khezha and Sangtam sub-tribes. Now the Chakhesang tribe is split further; Pochury's who were earlier a part of it now claim a unique entity.
Each tribe has their own languages and cultural features. The population has shown a steady growth. The Naga's have different stories about their origin. The Angamis, Semas, Rengams and the Lotha's subscribe to the Kheza-Kenoma legend.
The hill tribes in the areas now known as Nagaland had no common term applicable to the entire race. The word 'Naga' was given to these hill tribes by the plains people. This proved to be a great unifying force to the tribes now classified as Naga. Nagas are of sub-medium height, the facial index is very low, the nasal index corresponds to a medium nose, the hair is generally straight, the skin is brownish yellow. The eyes significantly do not show Mongolian form.
It could broadly be said that they are straight forward people, honest, hardworking, sturdy and with a high standard of integrity.
Fairs & Festivals of Nagaland
The festivals of Nagaland are mostly associated with agricultural operations. The important thing about the Naga festivals is their composite character. The Naga community as a whole participates in the celebrations of ceremonial functions. There are certain programmes stretching over a specified period, in which all the village folks participate.
Their are 16 tribes and sub-tribes altogether in Nagaland. All the tribes celebrate the festival in their own distinct way. Their are numerous festivals in Nagaland celebrated through out the year with pomp and gaiety followed with rich culture and traditions.
Some of the festivals representing rich culture and traditions is celebrated by the Naga people are :