Naga People

The term Naga people (Burmese: နာဂ, Hindi: नागा) refers to a conglomeration of several tribes inhabiting the North Eastern part of India and north-western Burma. The tribes have similar cultures and traditions, and form the majority ethnic group in the Indian states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Out of the numerous unique identities of the Nagas, the most unique traditional items that can be found in almost all of the Naga tribes and that distinctly separate Nagas from the other tribals are the Conical red headgear decorated with wild-boar canine teeth and white-black Hornbill feathers, the spear with the shaft decorated with red-black hairs and the unique Dao with broad blade and long handle. Some of the prominent Naga tribes are Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Lotha, Pochury, Phom, Poumai, Rongmei Naga, Rengma, Sangtam, Sema (Sumi), Mao (Memei), Yimchunger, Zeliang. The Naga speak various languages belonging to the Angami–Pochuri, Ao, Kukish, Sal, Tangkhul, and Zeme branches of Tibeto-Burman.

There are 16 officially recognized tribes in the Nagaland state of India. The other Naga tribes can be found in the contiguous adjoining states of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and across the border in Burma. Some of these tribes are: Zeme, Liangmai, Mao (Memei), Nocte, Phom, Pochuri, Poumai Naga, Rongmei Naga, Tangsa, Tutsa, and Wancho.

The Naga tribes practised headhunting and preserved the heads of enemies as trophies before the 19th century.

Read more about Naga People:  Geography, Organization, Society, List of Naga Tribes

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