Nagaland is physically and conceptually at the very extremity of the sub-continent. Many of its hills and valleys, home to the fiercely independent Nagas, were unchartered until recently, and the eastern regions remain far beyond the reach of the skeletal road network. The hospitability of the people here and their culture and tradition simply touch the heart. Moreover, the Nagaland is an ideal destination for trekking, rock climbing and jungle camping. The state consists of seven districts with sixteen tribes & sub-tribes inhabiting it.
Little is known about the early history of what is now Nagaland, including the origin of several large sandstone pillars at Dimapur. British rule was established over the area by the 1890s, and headhunting, then a traditional practice, was outlawed. The Naga territory remained split between Assam and the North East Frontier Agency after Indian independence in 1947, despite a vocal movement advocating the political union of all the Naga tribes; one faction called for secession from India. In 1957, following violent incidents, the Indian government established a single Naga administrative unit under Indian rule. The Naga people responded by refusing to pay their taxes and by conducting a campaign of sabotage. In 1960 the Indian government agreed to make Nagaland a self-governing state within India; the state was officially inaugurated in 1963. Naga separatists, however, continued to show violent opposition; they have been demanding autonomy and creation of a single administrative unit comprising all the Naga inhabited areas spanning across some of the north eastern states. Naga rebels and the Indian government have agreed on a ceasefire and peace talks are going on.
Nagaland Fairs & Festivals
The festivals are mostly related to agricultural operations. The important thing about the Naga festivals is their corporate character. The community as a whole participates in the celebrations. There is a definite programme stretching over a specified period in which all the village folk join.
MOATSU : Among the Aos, the most important festival is Moatsu, which is celebrated after the sowing is over. The festival last for six days. On the first night of the festival sexual intercourse was forbidden. Every man was required to wear a new belt, for hanging his dao. The unmarried men received belts as presents from their girl friends, the married men got from their wives. During this occasion, the restriction relating to dress and ornaments were relaxed. People could wear even the forbidden ones according to their will.
SEKRENYI : The principal Angami festival in the Sekrenyi. It is celebrated in February by the Western Angamis and in December by the Southern Angamis. The festival is to ensure the health and well being of the community during the coming year. It is an occasion of great merry making, enormous quantities of rice-beer, beef and pork are consumed. An interesting feature of the festival is that the men have to prepare a separate hearth and abstain from any sexual relation for the first two days.
SANKARNI : One of the major festivals of the Zemis is the Sankarni Puja which coincides with Shivaratri. Single boys and girls join in the Sankarni puja which lasts over a week. Chanting songs, they smoke, eat and drink to their hearts content. Contribution in money and kind is welcome from the participant families as well as visitors.