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Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Hornbill Festival - Nagaland

After a exhilarating experience
of my first Himalayan Trek and 
reliving my memories of Mount Kanchendzonga we a small group 
of three left the beautiful state 
of Sikkim and travelled to 
Nagaland,with its diverse tribal
culture and a land of festivals.

narrow strip of mountainous territory 

with rugged hills, pearl valleys, sparkling 
streams and rich variety of flora and fauna,
the 16th State of the Indian  Union.
 It is bounded by Assam in the West, 
 Myanmar in the east, Arunachal Pradesh in 
 the north and Manipur in the south. Sometimes 
 referred to as the `Switzerland of the East' .
 Nagaland represents unimaginable beauty, 
 moulded perfectly for a breathtaking experience.  
For the adventurous, the State is ideal place for 
trekking and jungle camping and offers limitless possibilities for exploring its lush sub-tropical rainforests. Each of the 16 major tribes and many sub-tribes in the State has its own way 

of maintaining its distinctive cultural traditions and customs, 
through various forms of performing arts, which are an integral part of Naga festivals. 

Each of the tribal communities that dwell in
the hills can be distinguished by the colourful 
and intricately designed costumes, jewellery 
and beads that its members wear. The tradi-
tional ceremonial attire of each tribe is dif-
ferent from that of the other. There are the 
multi-coloured spears decorated with dyed 
goat's hair, the headgear made of finely 
woven bamboo interlaced with orchid stems
and adorned with boar's teeth and hornbill's 
feathers and ivory armlet.

Festivals mainly revolve around agriculture 
as this being the major economy and more 
than 80 percent of the population directly 
depend on agriculture.

Some of the important festivals celebrated by the tribes are Yemshe by the 
Pochurys in October, Aoling by the Konyaks in  April, Tsukhenyie by the Chak-
hesangs in January, Mimkut by the Kukis in January, Bushu by he Kacharis in January, 
Tuluni by the Sumis in July, Nyaknylum by the Changs in July,Sekrenyi by the Angamis 
in February,Tokhu Emong by the Lothas in November and Moatsu by the Aos in 

For encouraging inter-tribal cultural interaction and to bring the varied festivals 
under one roof , the Naga 
Goverernment has evolved 
the Hornbill Festival, where 
one can experience all Naga 
traditions and cultural displays 
at one place.

The Festival is named as Hornbill 
Festival so as to pay tribute to the 
bird Hornbill ,which is admired by 
the Nagas for its grandeur and 
majesticity .We enjoyed the 
fabulous hospitality of the Nagas , 
getting invited to every tribal 
sections  to taste the authentic 
tribal food, particularly Non 
vegetarian dishes and Zutho the 
indigenous Rice Beer of Nagas
Each Tribe showcases their unique 
Hut , hunting equipments, folklore , 
songs and war dance  which really 
takes you into a trance because 
of the resonating sounds of the 
drums, shouts and cries. War 
dance starts with slow rhythm and 
builds into a high tempo filling 
the air with mystic aura ,seemed
very surreal, these spectacle 
should be experienced 
personally rather than read.


In total we had a great once in a lifetime experience in Nagaland , 
Our journey continued on to the next destination Kaziranga National Park - Assam. 

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