Scheduled tribes of Nagaland

Scheduled tribes of Nagaland

Angami Naga

The Angamis are a major Naga ethnic group native to the state of Nagaland in North-East India. They are listed as a Scheduled Tribe, in the 5th schedule of the Indian Constitution. They are known for the Sekrenyi celebrations every February. The Angami Nagas are settled in Kohima District and Dimapur District.

The Angami Nagas are hill people depending basically on cultivation and livestock-rearing. The Angamis are known for terraced wet-rice cultivation; because of this labor-intensive cultivation, land is the most important form of property among them. They are one of the only two groups of Nagas out of the seventeen who practice wet-rice cultivation on terraces made on the hill slopes. This allows them to cultivate the same plot year after year. They depend, to a very small extent, on slash-and-burn cultivation.

Ao Naga

The Aos are one of the major Naga tribes of Nagaland, Northeast India. They were the first Naga tribe to embrace Christianity and by virtue of this development the Aos availed themselves to Western education that came along with Christianity . In the process the Aos became the pioneering tribe among the Nagas in many fields. Christianity first entered into the Ao territory when an American Baptist missionary, Edwin W. Clark, reached an Ao village called Molungkimong in 1872. Their main territory is from Tsula (Dikhu) Valley in the east to Tsurang (Disai) Valley in the west in Mokokchung district. They are well known for multiple harvest festivals held each year.

Chang Naga

Chang is a Naga of Nagaland, India. It is one of the recognized Scheduled Tribes.  The tribe was also known as Mazung in British India. Other Naga tribes know the Changs by different names including Changhai (Khiamniungan), Changru (Yimchunger), Duenching (upper Konyak), Machungrr (Ao), Mochumi (Sema) and Mojung (Konyak).

According to oral tradition, the Changs emerged from a place called Changsangmongko, and later settled at Changsang. The word Chang is said to have been derived the word chognu (banyan tree), after a mythical banyan tree that grew at the now-abandoned Changsang.  Another theory says that the Chang migrated to present-day Nagaland from the east, and therefore call themselves Chang (“Eastern” in the local dialect). Some Changs also claim the Aos as their ancestors.[5] The Chang folklore is similar to that of the Ao.

Khiamniungan people

Khiamniungan is one of the major Naga tribes, mainly found in the Noklak district of Nagaland, India and the adjoining areas of Burma.Khiamniungan which literally translates to source of great waters.[citation needed] They were also called Kalyo-Kenyu (“slate-house dwellers”) during the British Raj.

Lotha Naga

Lotha is the name of a major Naga tribe inhabiting the Wokha district of Nagaland.

Wokha is the traditional home of the Lotha tribe. Lothas are renowned for their colorful dances and folk songs. The male members wear shawls indicating their social status. The prestigious social shawl for women is Opvuram and Longpensu for men.  Like many Nagas, the Lothas practiced headhunting in the older days. After the arrival of Christianity, they gave up this practice. Though the majority of the Lothas are Baptist, there exist a moderate amount of other forms of Christianity like the Catholics. Catholics are concentrated more in Wokha than in other parts of Nagaland.  Tokhu Emong and Pikhuchak are the main festivals celebrated amidst much pomp and splendor. Tokhu Emong is celebrated on November 7.

The Tokhü Emong is the harvest festival of the Lothas. With the harvest done and the granaries full, the people now take a respite from the toils and sweat and settle down to enjoy the fruits of one’s hard labour.

Sangtam Naga

The Sangtams are a Naga tribe living in the Tuensang and Kiphire districts of Nagaland.  Like many other tribal groups in Northeast India, they practice jhum, or shifting cultivation. Unlike other Naga tribes in Nagaland, many of the Sangtam have retained their traditional beliefs in spite of embracing Christianity at the same time. Sangtams celebrate twelve different festivals, in particular Mongmong, all of which are affiliated with their traditional culture and religion.

Sumi Naga

The ‘Sumi Naga’ is one of the major Naga peoples in Nagaland, India. The Sumis mainly inhabit Zunheboto district, although many have spread and are now living in a few more districts within Nagaland.  Sumi Naga tribe practiced kiti-do and were headhunters as every other Naga tribe.  The Sumis practised headhunting like other Naga peoples before the arrival of the Christian missionaries and their subsequent conversion to Christianity. Anthropological study of the Sumis is documented in the book The Sema Nagas by J. H. Hutton, who was a Professor of Social Anthropology in the University of Cambridge. The Sumi is one of the recognised scheduled tribes of India.

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