Costumes of Different Tribes in Nagaland

Costumes of Naga tribes such as : Angami tribe, Ao Tribe, Chang Tribe, Konyak Tribe, Liangmai Tribe, Lotha Tribe and Poumai Tribe

Costumes of Different Tribes in Nagaland

Naga is a vaguely defined umbrella term for several indigenous communities in North-East India and Upper Burma.

Angami Tribe:
  • The Angamis are a major Naga ethnic group native to the state of Nagaland in North-East India.
  • Angamis were traditionally warriors. Angamis are popular for their woodcraft and artwork all over India. 
  • People in India know them as the producer of bamboo work, cane furniture, beds, shawls and powerful machetes. 
  • They are very much fond of music and play great music with the help of drum and flute, which is passed on from one generation to the other. 
  • The simple and rhythmic music plays the important role in their rituals and festivals. 
  • Traditional dancing is the main component in Angami gennas.


Ao Tribe :

Ao Nagas are found in the north-eastern part of Nagaland, mostly in the central Mokokchung District and also a few are found in the adjacent Assam state.

  • A Tsüngkotepsü is a warrior shawl created by the Ao Naga tribe of Nagaland, Mokokchung. Traditionally, the Tsüngkotepsü could only be worn by warriors who had successfully taken the heads of enemy warriors.
  • Its a distinctive symbol of the Ao tribe.
  • The Ao Naga tribes of Nagaland speak three languages: Chungli, Mongsen, and Changki.

Family in Traditional Ao attire


Chang Tribe :

Chang is a Naga of Nagaland, India. It is one of the recognized Scheduled Tribes.

  • The Changs speak the Chang language, which belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family. Nagamese is used for communicating with the outsiders.
  • The traditional Chang dress features distinctive shawl-like garments and ornamented headgear.
  • The shawl designs are different for different age groups and clans. Mohnei, a cowrie-ornamented shawl, could be worn only by a man who had taken more than 6 heads.
  • Naknyu Lem is one of the major festival celebrating the ancient mythology from darkness to light.

Chang Tribe Costume - Nagaland

Young woman from the Chang naga tribe

Konyak Tribe :

  • The Konyak tribe, once notorious for their headhunting and famous for their facial tattoos, live in the remote North East India and the northwestern tip of Myanmar. 
  • The prominent and iconic “specs” facial tattoo of the Konyak men is a depiction of this unique cultural practice that distinguish the Konyaks to the rest of the world. 
  • Various other tattoo design patterns on the bodies of both men and women are a direct visual representation of this unique traditional practice.

Konyak tribe - Head Hunters

Liangmai Tribe :

  • Ethnically and linguistically Liangmai people belong to the mongoloid group of race and speak Liangmai, a Tibeto-Burman language under the Naga Bodo section family.
  • In Nagaland Liangmais are recognized as Zeliang which comprises Zeme and Liangmai. 
  • The language spoken by the people of Liangmai is known as Liangmai language. 
  • Liangmai tribes of mongoloid race live in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam States of Northeast India.
  • Chaga-Ngee, the biggest festival of the Liangmai community was celebrated in the month of October. Today, this festival that showcases Liangmai's rich culture and tradition is celebrated on 30th of October every year.

Chaga-Ngee -  festival of the Liangmai community


Lotha Tribe :

  • Lotha is the name of a major Naga tribe inhabiting the Wokha district of Nagaland, India.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Tokhü Emong is celebrated in the 1st month of November every year and it stretches over to 9 days.

Lotha Traditional Attire

Lotha Traditional Attire

Poumai Tribe :

  • The Poumai Naga is a community predominantly inhabiting the Senapati District of Manipur, though there are villages that fall in the Nagaland state, situated in the northeastern part of India. Poumai is one of the Naga tribes.
  • During festivals, they Poumai people wore Roh-lai, Vee-hoxzü (a colorful bird's feather), Phao-hah, paongi (ivory bangles), etc. Women wore Lakiteisha (a black shawl with red and green stripes), Poüpumü (a white-skirt with black and green stripes), Bao-sa (bangles), Baoda (a brass bangle), and Toutah or Tou (necklaces). The grills could also be woven from the barks of nettle.
  • Thounii Festival - The word “Thou” means “new”; “nii” means “festival”. Therefore, it can be translated as “New year festival or the festival of dawn”.

Poumai Naga during the Poumai Cultural Fair

Note: There are many more tribes in Nagaland. We have listed only few of them.

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