infinite loader
A full moon appears as dusk darkens Kohima’s sky. Very soon lights will come on to make the hillsides sparkle. The Angami and the Khasi believe that the sun being a woman is afraid of darkness and hence moves about only by day. The husband (the moon) comes out for a stroll when the sun returns home. Despite a ceasefire since 1997 with insurgents striving for a Greater Nagaland, commercial activity ceases early. This is a carryover from years of curfew, when insurgent activity started in the 1950s. A full moon appears as dusk darkens Kohima’s sky. Very soon lights will come on to make the hillsides sparkle. The Angami and the Khasi believe that the sun being a woman is afraid of darkness and hence moves about only by day. The husband (the moon) comes out for a stroll when the sun returns home. Despite a ceasefire since 1997 with insurgents striving for a Greater Nagaland, commercial activity ceases early. This is a carryover from years of curfew, when insurgent activity started in the 1950s.
Dawn lifts a blanket of clouds from Nagaland’s valleys. Deep valleys, dense forests and humidity cause an inversion of temperature, resulting in a daily procession of clouds filling the valleys in the evenings. Watching the slow unveiling of the valleys in the mornings in an unforgettable experience. The Dhansiri, Doyang and Dikhu rivers have carved out the main river valleys. The topography of the land of the Naga consists of a series of north-south parallel mountain ranges  varying from 636 ft. to 10,000 ft. These ranges are linked by a crisscross of spurs  and ridges. According to an Angami legend, the sky was once smaller  than the earth. At night the earth wanted to cover itself up with the sky. So the earth crinkled its toes and folded  its legs. That is why the sky is so smooth and the earth so crumpled with valleys and mountains. Dawn lifts a blanket of clouds from Nagaland’s valleys. Deep valleys, dense forests and humidity cause an inversion of temperature, resulting in a daily procession of clouds filling the valleys in the evenings. Watching the slow unveiling of the valleys in the mornings in an unforgettable experience. The Dhansiri, Doyang and Dikhu rivers have carved out the main river valleys. The topography of the land of the Naga consists of a series of north-south parallel mountain ranges  varying from 636 ft. to 10,000 ft. These ranges are linked by a crisscross of spurs  and ridges. According to an Angami legend, the sky was once smaller  than the earth. At night the earth wanted to cover itself up with the sky. So the earth crinkled its toes and folded  its legs. That is why the sky is so smooth and the earth so crumpled with valleys and mountains.
Dawn lifts a blanket of clouds from Nagaland’s valleys. Deep valleys, dense forests and humidity cause an inversion of temperature, resulting in a daily procession of clouds filling the valleys in the evenings. Watching the slow unveiling of the valleys in the mornings in an unforgettable experience. The Dhansiri, Doyang and Dikhu rivers have carved out the main river valleys. The topography of the land of the Naga consists of a series of north-south parallel mountain ranges  varying from 636 ft. to 10,000 ft. These ranges are linked by a crisscross of spurs  and ridges. According to an Angami legend, the sky was once smaller  than the earth. At night the earth wanted to cover itself up with the sky. So the earth crinkled its toes and folded  its legs. That is why the sky is so smooth and the earth so crumpled with valleys and mountains. Dawn lifts a blanket of clouds from Nagaland’s valleys. Deep valleys, dense forests and humidity cause an inversion of temperature, resulting in a daily procession of clouds filling the valleys in the evenings. Watching the slow unveiling of the valleys in the mornings in an unforgettable experience. The Dhansiri, Doyang and Dikhu rivers have carved out the main river valleys. The topography of the land of the Naga consists of a series of north-south parallel mountain ranges  varying from 636 ft. to 10,000 ft. These ranges are linked by a crisscross of spurs  and ridges. According to an Angami legend, the sky was once smaller  than the earth. At night the earth wanted to cover itself up with the sky. So the earth crinkled its toes and folded  its legs. That is why the sky is so smooth and the earth so crumpled with valleys and mountains.
Dense rain forests clothe Nagaland’s mountains. This forest in northern Tuensang. Forests cover 85 % of the landmass of the State. Virgin, inaccessible forests amount to a third of forested land. Dense rain forests clothe Nagaland’s mountains. This forest in northern Tuensang. Forests cover 85 % of the landmass of the State. Virgin, inaccessible forests amount to a third of forested land.
Jhum fields glow under cloud-darkened skies. Shifting cultivation (jhumming) is a  widespread though controversial practice in India’s northeastern region.
Jhum fields glow under cloud-darkened skies. Shifting cultivation (jhumming) is a  widespread though controversial practice in India’s northeastern region.
Jhum fields glow under cloud-darkened skies. Shifting cultivation (jhumming) is a  widespread though controversial practice in India’s northeastern region.
Jhum fields glow under cloud-darkened skies. Shifting cultivation (jhumming) is a  widespread though controversial practice in India’s northeastern region.
Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides. Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides.
Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides. Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides.
Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides. Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides.
Konyak women jhumming after the fields have been fired and cleared. Konyak women jhumming after the fields have been fired and cleared.
Sangnyu of Ungma shouts  a war cry while dancing. Sangnyu of Ungma shouts  a war cry while dancing.
The Tsungrem Mong Festival of the Ao Naga. The Tsungrem Mong Festival of the Ao Naga.
Men and women of Longsa prepare themselves for a tug of war. Men and women of Longsa prepare themselves for a tug of war.
A celebratory war dance by the men of Ungma village during the Tsungrem Mong festival. A celebratory war dance by the men of Ungma village during the Tsungrem Mong festival.
A celebratory war dance by the men of Ungma village during the Tsungrem Mong festival. A celebratory war dance by the men of Ungma village during the Tsungrem Mong festival.
Tsungrem Mong festival, Tsungrem Mong festival,
All Naga dances are a ccompanied by a vigorous one syllable-chant  by the dancers who, if not armed, hold each other by the left hand and move in a circle, Signifying unity of purpose. All Naga dances are a ccompanied by a vigorous one syllable-chant  by the dancers who, if not armed, hold each other by the left hand and move in a circle, Signifying unity of purpose.
Men of Ungma dance to the beat of a drum (left foreground). Men of Ungma dance to the beat of a drum (left foreground).
Men of Ungma dance to the beat of a drum (left foreground). Men of Ungma dance to the beat of a drum (left foreground).
Dancers from the village of Merangkong at the Tsungrem Mong festival performing the miri-yari dance. Dancers from the village of Merangkong at the Tsungrem Mong festival performing the miri-yari dance.
Waromung, a well known Naga village, is in northwestern Nagaland. Waromung, a well known Naga village, is in northwestern Nagaland.
A konyak woman winnows grain in the outer room of her home. A konyak woman winnows grain in the outer room of her home.
The distinctive shape of the palmyra-thatched long house of the Ang (cheif) of Shangnyu village marks it out from the other houses. The distinctive shape of the palmyra-thatched long house of the Ang (cheif) of Shangnyu village marks it out from the other houses.
A young man on his way to the jhum fields, A young man on his way to the jhum fields,
A huddle of huts in a Konyak village in the northeastern Mon district of Nagaland. A huddle of huts in a Konyak village in the northeastern Mon district of Nagaland.
An Ao Naga village lies like an epaulette on the shoulder of a hill. An Ao Naga village lies like an epaulette on the shoulder of a hill.
Thatched houses are fast disappearing in Nagaland except in the remote areas  and along the Indo-Myanmar border. Seen here is a rear view of houses showing the stilts on which they are built and the rear platforms which form a sunning area. Thatched houses are fast disappearing in Nagaland except in the remote areas  and along the Indo-Myanmar border. Seen here is a rear view of houses showing the stilts on which they are built and the rear platforms which form a sunning area.
The hearth is indeed the centre of a Naga home and plays a major role in all the  life cycle ceremonies, in festivals and in myths and stories . The family sits around it on small wooden stools at mealtimes and in the evenings. The hearth is indeed the centre of a Naga home and plays a major role in all the  life cycle ceremonies, in festivals and in myths and stories . The family sits around it on small wooden stools at mealtimes and in the evenings.
The Great Ang of Mon. The Angs belong to the ruling clan of the Konyak who are distributed in Arunachal Pradesh, the mon district of Nagaland and in  Myanmar. Each Ang exercises influence over a group of villages. The Great Ang of Mon. The Angs belong to the ruling clan of the Konyak who are distributed in Arunachal Pradesh, the mon district of Nagaland and in  Myanmar. Each Ang exercises influence over a group of villages.
The hearth occupies an important place in a Naga home. There are many ceremonies associated with it. The hearth occupies an important place in a Naga home. There are many ceremonies associated with it.
Strings of dried yam (tungro) make a curtain of abundance for use during the lean months of May-June. Strings of dried yam (tungro) make a curtain of abundance for use during the lean months of May-June.
A lady of Losami village in the Phek district is identified as a Chakhesang by her large brass ear rings. She sips zu (rice beer) through a cane straw from her bamboo mug. A lady of Losami village in the Phek district is identified as a Chakhesang by her large brass ear rings. She sips zu (rice beer) through a cane straw from her bamboo mug.
Memorabilia dating back to 1872 record the arrival of the first missionaries in the Naga Hills. Rev. Dr. E.W. Clark and his wife established the first American Baptist Mission at Molungyimsen but moved in 1894 to Impur, a village near the district  headquarters of Mokokchung. Here they establish the Ao Baptist Church Conference (ABAM) which today is a leading centre of the the Baptist church. Memorabilia dating back to 1872 record the arrival of the first missionaries in the Naga Hills. Rev. Dr. E.W. Clark and his wife established the first American Baptist Mission at Molungyimsen but moved in 1894 to Impur, a village near the district  headquarters of Mokokchung. Here they establish the Ao Baptist Church Conference (ABAM) which today is a leading centre of the the Baptist church.
In most Naga villages, granaries are clustered together on the outskirts of the village to isolate them in case of a fire breaking out in the village. In most Naga villages, granaries are clustered together on the outskirts of the village to isolate them in case of a fire breaking out in the village.
Longnyu, of the Konyak village Sheangah Tangten, is around 100 years old. He is spreading dhan (unhusked rice) for drying and placing on a long rice-pounding table made of one piece of wood. Longnyu, of the Konyak village Sheangah Tangten, is around 100 years old. He is spreading dhan (unhusked rice) for drying and placing on a long rice-pounding table made of one piece of wood.
A boy from Longsa village opens out a window pasted over with pictures of his international sports heroes. A boy from Longsa village opens out a window pasted over with pictures of his international sports heroes.
The status of this gentle and dignified lady is revealed by her blue turquoise necklace which can only be worn by Konyak royalty. The status of this gentle and dignified lady is revealed by her blue turquoise necklace which can only be worn by Konyak royalty.
Konyak family Konyak family
A chakhesang dobhashi, those who speak two languages, of Losami village in the Phek district sips rice beer from a mithun horn. His traditional necklace of boar’s tusks is tied up with red and yellow plastic strips instead of the original dyed cane and yellow orchid stems. A chakhesang dobhashi, those who speak two languages, of Losami village in the Phek district sips rice beer from a mithun horn. His traditional necklace of boar’s tusks is tied up with red and yellow plastic strips instead of the original dyed cane and yellow orchid stems.
A refreshing pause after a draught of zu from a mithun horn. This is a universal drink with all the northeastern people, A refreshing pause after a draught of zu from a mithun horn. This is a universal drink with all the northeastern people,
Getting high on opium in Chui village of Mon district. Opium smoking is common amongst the Konyak. Getting high on opium in Chui village of Mon district. Opium smoking is common amongst the Konyak.
Behind the smiling lady with her bamboo mug of zu are handmade pots of various sizes. The Naga do not use the potter’s wheel. Instead they use the ‘ramming’ method for making the base and then working upwards, using hand-rolled strips of clay before using a spatula to shape the pot. Behind the smiling lady with her bamboo mug of zu are handmade pots of various sizes. The Naga do not use the potter’s wheel. Instead they use the ‘ramming’ method for making the base and then working upwards, using hand-rolled strips of clay before using a spatula to shape the pot.
Naga Women Naga Women
Konyak Konyak
A wealthy Thendu Konyak couple pose  gravely before their house. A wealthy Thendu Konyak couple pose  gravely before their house.
A slain tiger is brought on a bier to Chui village amidst victory chants. A tiger hunt involves all the able-bodied men of the village. A slain tiger is brought on a bier to Chui village amidst victory chants. A tiger hunt involves all the able-bodied men of the village.
Tiger meat is not taboo for the Konyak as it is with the Ao and Sumi (Sema). Elaborate rituals are performed and a day of penna (no work, stay at home day) is observed for the death of the elder brother (the tiger) Tiger meat is not taboo for the Konyak as it is with the Ao and Sumi (Sema). Elaborate rituals are performed and a day of penna (no work, stay at home day) is observed for the death of the elder brother (the tiger)
Preparations are under way for a Christmas community feast at Khonoma in Kohima district. Preparations are under way for a Christmas community feast at Khonoma in Kohima district.
Konyak men from wakching Aoleang festival. Konyak men from wakching Aoleang festival.
Konyak men from wakching Aoleang festival. Konyak men from wakching Aoleang festival.
The Ang fo Chui wearing an expensive brass disc necklace valued around Rs 10,000 stands next to the skinned head of the slain tiger. The Ang fo Chui wearing an expensive brass disc necklace valued around Rs 10,000 stands next to the skinned head of the slain tiger.
Yimchungru man Yimchungru man
Yimchungru man Yimchungru man
An amiable new-age Konyak, An amiable new-age Konyak,
The Great Ang of Chui The Great Ang of Chui
Konyak warrior Konyak warrior
Yohon of Longwa village Yohon of Longwa village
The Great Ang of Chui The Great Ang of Chui
A grieving Konyak widow talks to her husband’s soul as she sits cording cotton by his coffin. The Angs lay their dead in coffins alongwith their shawls, weapons and personal belongings. A grieving Konyak widow talks to her husband’s soul as she sits cording cotton by his coffin. The Angs lay their dead in coffins alongwith their shawls, weapons and personal belongings.
The  Konyak traditionally practice two death ceremonies for their heroes and Angs. The  Konyak traditionally practice two death ceremonies for their heroes and Angs.
The life-force from all these slain enemy heads is believed to have given the Konyak village of Chui its prosperity and renown. The life-force from all these slain enemy heads is believed to have given the Konyak village of Chui its prosperity and renown.
A close-up of Wangkau with all the emblems of high status. Traditionally an Ang can order a raid on another village but he is not permitted to lead a raid. This is done by his son who has to earn his reputation as a warrior while still an heir. A close-up of Wangkau with all the emblems of high status. Traditionally an Ang can order a raid on another village but he is not permitted to lead a raid. This is done by his son who has to earn his reputation as a warrior while still an heir.
A gaonbura wearing his red coat of office. The gaonbura (GB) and the dobhashi
(DB) were appointments created by the British to assist them in the administration of villages.
A gaonbura wearing his red coat of office. The gaonbura (GB) and the dobhashi
(DB) were appointments created by the British to assist them in the administration of villages.
A Konyak head-taker in everyday clothes. A Konyak head-taker in everyday clothes.
Ao elder Ao elder
At Kidima village, the start of the Sekrenyi festival is announced by a priest. His hair style is characteristic of the Angami-a fringe in front with hair drawn back into a knot. A white  pith ring holds the knot, topped with an eagle’s feather. Feathers from a sacrificial cock decorate his ears. The lohe, a traditional black sash with gold and yellow border, is worn over his gaonbura’s red shawl. At Kidima village, the start of the Sekrenyi festival is announced by a priest. His hair style is characteristic of the Angami-a fringe in front with hair drawn back into a knot. A white  pith ring holds the knot, topped with an eagle’s feather. Feathers from a sacrificial cock decorate his ears. The lohe, a traditional black sash with gold and yellow border, is worn over his gaonbura’s red shawl.
The priest of Kidima offers zu in a plantain leaf cup to the spirits. The priest of Kidima offers zu in a plantain leaf cup to the spirits.
A khel gathers together for a processional visit to other khels. A khel gathers together for a processional visit to other khels.
The imposing sunray headgear worn during Sekrenyi and other ceremonial occasions is so unwieldy that the wearer has to keep it in place by a holding onto a cord connected to it. The imposing sunray headgear worn during Sekrenyi and other ceremonial occasions is so unwieldy that the wearer has to keep it in place by a holding onto a cord connected to it.
The traditional warrior’s dress The traditional warrior’s dress
A close up of Solaba (centre) as he leads the victory dance that traditionally celebrated a successful head-hunting raid. A close up of Solaba (centre) as he leads the victory dance that traditionally celebrated a successful head-hunting raid.
The athletic and ling-legged young men of kuturr are renowned for their bravery and skill in the hunt as well as for their vigorous leaps, The athletic and ling-legged young men of kuturr are renowned for their bravery and skill in the hunt as well as for their vigorous leaps,
Solaba, the gaonbura of Kuturr (lower left) leads the Changbiru dance. He is recognizable by his black shawl and more elaborate dress. Solaba, the gaonbura of Kuturr (lower left) leads the Changbiru dance. He is recognizable by his black shawl and more elaborate dress.
A Konyak man with his son, celebrating the Aoleang festival. He is a head-taker as is evident form his chest tattoos and brass-heads necklace. Though head-taking was banned in colonial times, the practise continued sporadically till 1963. A Konyak man with his son, celebrating the Aoleang festival. He is a head-taker as is evident form his chest tattoos and brass-heads necklace. Though head-taking was banned in colonial times, the practise continued sporadically till 1963.
Young men form a khel of Wakching, dancing before a ban of another khel on the final day of the Aoleang festival. Young men form a khel of Wakching, dancing before a ban of another khel on the final day of the Aoleang festival.
The dancer on the far right is the rhaipa, the leader. He controls the pace and actions of the group. He is also a composer and singer. The dancer on the far right is the rhaipa, the leader. He controls the pace and actions of the group. He is also a composer and singer.
Naga, His five brass-heads necklace indicates his head-taking status, though it may be an heirloom as he has no head-taker’s tattoos on his face. Naga, His five brass-heads necklace indicates his head-taking status, though it may be an heirloom as he has no head-taker’s tattoos on his face.
The Merhema khel of Khonoma at a Christmas feast. The Merhema khel of Khonoma at a Christmas feast.
Naga wedding’s especially in the urban areas, are conducted in the Christian style. Naga wedding’s especially in the urban areas, are conducted in the Christian style.
Interior of a Konyak gunsmith’s shop. Gun barrels can be seen at bottom right. The Konyak learnt the skill of making muzzle loaders form Myanmar in pre-colonial times. Later, the quelling of a Manipuri rebellion in 1891 resulted in large number of guns being available in the Naga Hills. Interior of a Konyak gunsmith’s shop. Gun barrels can be seen at bottom right. The Konyak learnt the skill of making muzzle loaders form Myanmar in pre-colonial times. Later, the quelling of a Manipuri rebellion in 1891 resulted in large number of guns being available in the Naga Hills.
Interior of a Konyak gunsmith’s shop. Gun barrels can be seen at bottom right. The Konyak learnt the skill of making muzzle loaders form Myanmar in pre-colonial times. Later, the quelling of a Manipuri rebellion in 1891 resulted in large number of guns being available in the Naga Hills. Interior of a Konyak gunsmith’s shop. Gun barrels can be seen at bottom right. The Konyak learnt the skill of making muzzle loaders form Myanmar in pre-colonial times. Later, the quelling of a Manipuri rebellion in 1891 resulted in large number of guns being available in the Naga Hills.
A man sharpens his dao before a Sekrenyi ceremony. A man sharpens his dao before a Sekrenyi ceremony.
An Angami follows a centuries old practice of eating with a wooden  spoon from a wooden platter. An Angami follows a centuries old practice of eating with a wooden  spoon from a wooden platter.
A Konyak  lady pauses for breath while carrying a heavy load of bamboo containers filled with water. A Konyak  lady pauses for breath while carrying a heavy load of bamboo containers filled with water.
Basket making is a skill shared by the Konyak with the neighbouring Khiamniungan tribe. Basket making is a skill shared by the Konyak with the neighbouring Khiamniungan tribe.
The carvings in the house of the Ang of Shangnyu are renowned for their virtuosity and scale. Made out of a single tree trunk, this large panel, has carvings in high relief. Some figures are linked to the panel only by the platforms they stand on. There is even a carved basket which can be used as a container for domestic items. The carvings in the house of the Ang of Shangnyu are renowned for their virtuosity and scale. Made out of a single tree trunk, this large panel, has carvings in high relief. Some figures are linked to the panel only by the platforms they stand on. There is even a carved basket which can be used as a container for domestic items.
The carvings in the house of the Ang of Shangnyu are renowned for their virtuosity and scale. Made out of a single tree trunk, this large panel, has carvings in high relief. Some figures are linked to the panel only by the platforms they stand on. There is even a carved basket which can be used as a container for domestic items. The carvings in the house of the Ang of Shangnyu are renowned for their virtuosity and scale. Made out of a single tree trunk, this large panel, has carvings in high relief. Some figures are linked to the panel only by the platforms they stand on. There is even a carved basket which can be used as a container for domestic items.
Headgear of unusual designs reflect the personalities of their designers. These hats were seen during an Aoleang festival of the Konyak. Headgear of unusual designs reflect the personalities of their designers. These hats were seen during an Aoleang festival of the Konyak.
Headgear of unusual designs reflect the personalities of their designers. These hats were seen during an Aoleang festival of the Konyak. Headgear of unusual designs reflect the personalities of their designers. These hats were seen during an Aoleang festival of the Konyak.
The wooden gate of a khel of Jotsoma village. The high relief carvings on it are symbols of strength and fertility. The wooden gate of a khel of Jotsoma village. The high relief carvings on it are symbols of strength and fertility.
A painted stone gate of the Merhema khel of Khonoma. A painted stone gate of the Merhema khel of Khonoma.
Another gate of Jotsoma village. This one is both carved and painted. Another gate of Jotsoma village. This one is both carved and painted.
Man  to man conversation during a break in the Sekrenyi festivities. Man  to man conversation during a break in the Sekrenyi festivities.
A pride of gaonbura (GB) of Kidima, clad in their red blankets of office, lead a procession on the final day of Sekrenyi. GB (village elders, not necessarily old) are men elected by the villagers. A pride of gaonbura (GB) of Kidima, clad in their red blankets of office, lead a procession on the final day of Sekrenyi. GB (village elders, not necessarily old) are men elected by the villagers.
The priest of Viswema, with all the gravitas of his position, leads the Sekrenyi procession through the village. The priest of Viswema, with all the gravitas of his position, leads the Sekrenyi procession through the village.
Angami dobhashi ‘takes five’ at the Sekrenyi festival. He wears a distinctive man’s shawl for the occasion which would have taken 40 to 50 hours of work. Angami dobhashi ‘takes five’ at the Sekrenyi festival. He wears a distinctive man’s shawl for the occasion which would have taken 40 to 50 hours of work.
The square crystal earrings and the silver trumpet necklace. Worn by this lady of Mupangchukit village  are uniquely Ao. The square crystal earrings and the silver trumpet necklace. Worn by this lady of Mupangchukit village  are uniquely Ao.
An Ao lady from Longsa An Ao lady from Longsa
In earlier days, the shaving or cropping of hair of unmarried girls was widespread amongst the Lotha, Sumi, Ao, Angami, Chang, Phom, Tangkhul and Konyak. In earlier days, the shaving or cropping of hair of unmarried girls was widespread amongst the Lotha, Sumi, Ao, Angami, Chang, Phom, Tangkhul and Konyak.
Naga Children Naga Children
Naga Lady Naga Lady
The famous Commonwealth Cemetery on Garrison Hill at Kohima. The famous Commonwealth Cemetery on Garrison Hill at Kohima.
The dead at Kohima, some remain unidentified. The dead at Kohima, some remain unidentified.
The dead at Kohima, some remain unidentified. The dead at Kohima, some remain unidentified.
Mithuns (Bos frontalis) gather around their owner who feeds them with salt. The mithun is often mistakenly described as a bison or a gaur (Bos gaurus). Mithuns (Bos frontalis) gather around their owner who feeds them with salt. The mithun is often mistakenly described as a bison or a gaur (Bos gaurus).
  • A full moon appears as dusk darkens Kohima’s sky. Very soon lights will come on to make the hillsides sparkle. The Angami and the Khasi believe that the sun being a woman is afraid of darkness and hence moves about only by day. The husband (the moon) comes out for a stroll when the sun returns home. Despite a ceasefire since 1997 with insurgents striving for a Greater Nagaland, commercial activity ceases early. This is a carryover from years of curfew, when insurgent activity started in the 1950s.
    Dawn lifts a blanket of clouds from Nagaland’s valleys. Deep valleys, dense forests and humidity cause an inversion of temperature, resulting in a daily procession of clouds filling the valleys in the evenings. Watching the slow unveiling of the valleys in the mornings in an unforgettable experience. The Dhansiri, Doyang and Dikhu rivers have carved out the main river valleys. The topography of the land of the Naga consists of a series of north-south parallel mountain ranges varying from 636 ft. to 10,000 ft. These ranges are linked by a crisscross of spurs and ridges. According to an Angami legend, the sky was once smaller than the earth. At night the earth wanted to cover itself up with the sky. So the earth crinkled its toes and folded its legs. That is why the sky is so smooth and the earth so crumpled with valleys and mountains.
    Dawn lifts a blanket of clouds from Nagaland’s valleys. Deep valleys, dense forests and humidity cause an inversion of temperature, resulting in a daily procession of clouds filling the valleys in the evenings. Watching the slow unveiling of the valleys in the mornings in an unforgettable experience. The Dhansiri, Doyang and Dikhu rivers have carved out the main river valleys. The topography of the land of the Naga consists of a series of north-south parallel mountain ranges varying from 636 ft. to 10,000 ft. These ranges are linked by a crisscross of spurs and ridges. According to an Angami legend, the sky was once smaller than the earth. At night the earth wanted to cover itself up with the sky. So the earth crinkled its toes and folded its legs. That is why the sky is so smooth and the earth so crumpled with valleys and mountains.
    Dense rain forests clothe Nagaland’s mountains. This forest in northern Tuensang. Forests cover 85 % of the landmass of the State. Virgin, inaccessible forests amount to a third of forested land.
    Jhum fields glow under cloud-darkened skies. Shifting cultivation (jhumming) is a widespread though controversial practice in India’s northeastern region.
    Jhum fields glow under cloud-darkened skies. Shifting cultivation (jhumming) is a widespread though controversial practice in India’s northeastern region.
    Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides.
    Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides.
    Terraced fields create flowing abstract patterns on Angami hillsides.
    Konyak women jhumming after the fields have been fired and cleared.
    Sangnyu of Ungma shouts a war cry while dancing.
    The Tsungrem Mong Festival of the Ao Naga.
    Men and women of Longsa prepare themselves for a tug of war.
    A celebratory war dance by the men of Ungma village during the Tsungrem Mong festival.
    A celebratory war dance by the men of Ungma village during the Tsungrem Mong festival.
    Tsungrem Mong festival,
    All Naga dances are a ccompanied by a vigorous one syllable-chant by the dancers who, if not armed, hold each other by the left hand and move in a circle, Signifying unity of purpose.
    Men of Ungma dance to the beat of a drum (left foreground).
    Men of Ungma dance to the beat of a drum (left foreground).
    Dancers from the village of Merangkong at the Tsungrem Mong festival performing the miri-yari dance.
    Waromung, a well known Naga village, is in northwestern Nagaland.
    A konyak woman winnows grain in the outer room of her home.
    The distinctive shape of the palmyra-thatched long house of the Ang (cheif) of Shangnyu village marks it out from the other houses.
    A young man on his way to the jhum fields,
    A huddle of huts in a Konyak village in the northeastern Mon district of Nagaland.
    An Ao Naga village lies like an epaulette on the shoulder of a hill.
    Thatched houses are fast disappearing in Nagaland except in the remote areas and along the Indo-Myanmar border. Seen here is a rear view of houses showing the stilts on which they are built and the rear platforms which form a sunning area.
    The hearth is indeed the centre of a Naga home and plays a major role in all the life cycle ceremonies, in festivals and in myths and stories . The family sits around it on small wooden stools at mealtimes and in the evenings.
    The Great Ang of Mon. The Angs belong to the ruling clan of the Konyak who are distributed in Arunachal Pradesh, the mon district of Nagaland and in Myanmar. Each Ang exercises influence over a group of villages.
    The hearth occupies an important place in a Naga home. There are many ceremonies associated with it.
    Strings of dried yam (tungro) make a curtain of abundance for use during the lean months of May-June.
    A lady of Losami village in the Phek district is identified as a Chakhesang by her large brass ear rings. She sips zu (rice beer) through a cane straw from her bamboo mug.
    Memorabilia dating back to 1872 record the arrival of the first missionaries in the Naga Hills. Rev. Dr. E.W. Clark and his wife established the first American Baptist Mission at Molungyimsen but moved in 1894 to Impur, a village near the district headquarters of Mokokchung. Here they establish the Ao Baptist Church Conference (ABAM) which today is a leading centre of the the Baptist church.
    In most Naga villages, granaries are clustered together on the outskirts of the village to isolate them in case of a fire breaking out in the village.
    Longnyu, of the Konyak village Sheangah Tangten, is around 100 years old. He is spreading dhan (unhusked rice) for drying and placing on a long rice-pounding table made of one piece of wood.
    A boy from Longsa village opens out a window pasted over with pictures of his international sports heroes.
    The status of this gentle and dignified lady is revealed by her blue turquoise necklace which can only be worn by Konyak royalty.
    Konyak family
    A chakhesang dobhashi, those who speak two languages, of Losami village in the Phek district sips rice beer from a mithun horn. His traditional necklace of boar’s tusks is tied up with red and yellow plastic strips instead of the original dyed cane and yellow orchid stems.
    A refreshing pause after a draught of zu from a mithun horn. This is a universal drink with all the northeastern people,
    Getting high on opium in Chui village of Mon district. Opium smoking is common amongst the Konyak.
    Behind the smiling lady with her bamboo mug of zu are handmade pots of various sizes. The Naga do not use the potter’s wheel. Instead they use the ‘ramming’ method for making the base and then working upwards, using hand-rolled strips of clay before using a spatula to shape the pot.
    Naga Women
    Konyak
    A wealthy Thendu Konyak couple pose gravely before their house.
    A slain tiger is brought on a bier to Chui village amidst victory chants. A tiger hunt involves all the able-bodied men of the village.
    Tiger meat is not taboo for the Konyak as it is with the Ao and Sumi (Sema). Elaborate rituals are performed and a day of penna (no work, stay at home day) is observed for the death of the elder brother (the tiger)
    Preparations are under way for a Christmas community feast at Khonoma in Kohima district.
    Konyak men from wakching Aoleang festival.
    Konyak men from wakching Aoleang festival.
    The Ang fo Chui wearing an expensive brass disc necklace valued around Rs 10,000 stands next to the skinned head of the slain tiger.
    Yimchungru man
    Yimchungru man
    An amiable new-age Konyak,
    The Great Ang of Chui
    Konyak warrior
    Yohon of Longwa village
    The Great Ang of Chui
    A grieving Konyak widow talks to her husband’s soul as she sits cording cotton by his coffin. The Angs lay their dead in coffins alongwith their shawls, weapons and personal belongings.
    The Konyak traditionally practice two death ceremonies for their heroes and Angs.
    The life-force from all these slain enemy heads is believed to have given the Konyak village of Chui its prosperity and renown.
    A close-up of Wangkau with all the emblems of high status. Traditionally an Ang can order a raid on another village but he is not permitted to lead a raid. This is done by his son who has to earn his reputation as a warrior while still an heir.
    A gaonbura wearing his red coat of office. The gaonbura (GB) and the dobhashi (DB) were appointments created by the British to assist them in the administration of villages.
    A Konyak head-taker in everyday clothes.
    Ao elder
    At Kidima village, the start of the Sekrenyi festival is announced by a priest. His hair style is characteristic of the Angami-a fringe in front with hair drawn back into a knot. A white pith ring holds the knot, topped with an eagle’s feather. Feathers from a sacrificial cock decorate his ears. The lohe, a traditional black sash with gold and yellow border, is worn over his gaonbura’s red shawl.
    The priest of Kidima offers zu in a plantain leaf cup to the spirits.
    A khel gathers together for a processional visit to other khels.
    The imposing sunray headgear worn during Sekrenyi and other ceremonial occasions is so unwieldy that the wearer has to keep it in place by a holding onto a cord connected to it.
    The traditional warrior’s dress
    A close up of Solaba (centre) as he leads the victory dance that traditionally celebrated a successful head-hunting raid.
    The athletic and ling-legged young men of kuturr are renowned for their bravery and skill in the hunt as well as for their vigorous leaps,
    Solaba, the gaonbura of Kuturr (lower left) leads the Changbiru dance. He is recognizable by his black shawl and more elaborate dress.
    A Konyak man with his son, celebrating the Aoleang festival. He is a head-taker as is evident form his chest tattoos and brass-heads necklace. Though head-taking was banned in colonial times, the practise continued sporadically till 1963.
    Young men form a khel of Wakching, dancing before a ban of another khel on the final day of the Aoleang festival.
    The dancer on the far right is the rhaipa, the leader. He controls the pace and actions of the group. He is also a composer and singer.
    Naga, His five brass-heads necklace indicates his head-taking status, though it may be an heirloom as he has no head-taker’s tattoos on his face.
    The Merhema khel of Khonoma at a Christmas feast.
    Naga wedding’s especially in the urban areas, are conducted in the Christian style.
    Interior of a Konyak gunsmith’s shop. Gun barrels can be seen at bottom right. The Konyak learnt the skill of making muzzle loaders form Myanmar in pre-colonial times. Later, the quelling of a Manipuri rebellion in 1891 resulted in large number of guns being available in the Naga Hills.
    Interior of a Konyak gunsmith’s shop. Gun barrels can be seen at bottom right. The Konyak learnt the skill of making muzzle loaders form Myanmar in pre-colonial times. Later, the quelling of a Manipuri rebellion in 1891 resulted in large number of guns being available in the Naga Hills.
    A man sharpens his dao before a Sekrenyi ceremony.
    An Angami follows a centuries old practice of eating with a wooden spoon from a wooden platter.
    A Konyak lady pauses for breath while carrying a heavy load of bamboo containers filled with water.
    Basket making is a skill shared by the Konyak with the neighbouring Khiamniungan tribe.
    The carvings in the house of the Ang of Shangnyu are renowned for their virtuosity and scale. Made out of a single tree trunk, this large panel, has carvings in high relief. Some figures are linked to the panel only by the platforms they stand on. There is even a carved basket which can be used as a container for domestic items.
    The carvings in the house of the Ang of Shangnyu are renowned for their virtuosity and scale. Made out of a single tree trunk, this large panel, has carvings in high relief. Some figures are linked to the panel only by the platforms they stand on. There is even a carved basket which can be used as a container for domestic items.
    Headgear of unusual designs reflect the personalities of their designers. These hats were seen during an Aoleang festival of the Konyak.
    Headgear of unusual designs reflect the personalities of their designers. These hats were seen during an Aoleang festival of the Konyak.
    The wooden gate of a khel of Jotsoma village. The high relief carvings on it are symbols of strength and fertility.
    A painted stone gate of the Merhema khel of Khonoma.
    Another gate of Jotsoma village. This one is both carved and painted.
    Man to man conversation during a break in the Sekrenyi festivities.
    A pride of gaonbura (GB) of Kidima, clad in their red blankets of office, lead a procession on the final day of Sekrenyi. GB (village elders, not necessarily old) are men elected by the villagers.
    The priest of Viswema, with all the gravitas of his position, leads the Sekrenyi procession through the village.
    Angami dobhashi ‘takes five’ at the Sekrenyi festival. He wears a distinctive man’s shawl for the occasion which would have taken 40 to 50 hours of work.
    The square crystal earrings and the silver trumpet necklace. Worn by this lady of Mupangchukit village are uniquely Ao.
    An Ao lady from Longsa
    In earlier days, the shaving or cropping of hair of unmarried girls was widespread amongst the Lotha, Sumi, Ao, Angami, Chang, Phom, Tangkhul and Konyak.
    Naga Children
    Naga Lady
    The famous Commonwealth Cemetery on Garrison Hill at Kohima.
    The dead at Kohima, some remain unidentified.
    The dead at Kohima, some remain unidentified.
    Mithuns (Bos frontalis) gather around their owner who feeds them with salt. The mithun is often mistakenly described as a bison or a gaur (Bos gaurus).