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Indian Subcontinent >> India >> Nagaland >> Culture of Nagaland

Culture of Nagaland

The Naga tribes still perform the war dances that are resplendent with colourful and traditional headdress, costumes, war paint and weapons like spears. These dances celebrate nature’s bounties and success at war. The culture of Nagaland is as varied as the 16 tribes that inhabit it. With modernization and the advent of Christianity, many of their customs have been done away with, especially headhunting. Unmarried young men all lived together in the community house called “morung”. Today, this practice is discouraged and men are encouraged to live with their parents. Some tribes would decorate their faces with tattoos of swirling horns to denote their success in headhunting.

Weaving is a traditional craft passed down the generations. Almost every rural home has a loom. The Naga shawls have their own clan motifs and are brightly coloured. With a little familiarity, it is easy to spot the tribe the man or woman belongs to from the colours and designs of the shawls. The tribal men make decorative spears and bamboo shields.

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