India, known to most people as the sub-continent with 1.2 billion people. But have you heard of the seven sisters states in the eastern-most region of India? One of them: Nagaland.
Nagaland, like all seven states in northeast India, is ethnically distinct from the rest of India and has strong ethnic and cultural ties with Southeast Asia. Nagaland counts 16 main tribes. The Angamis, Aos, Konyaks, Lothas, and Sumis are the largest of them. The Naga tribes practiced headhunting and used to preserve the heads of enemies as trophies.
Nagaland was ruled by the British Empire since the 1830s. Missionaries arrived and spread Christianity among the Naga tribes. Christianity has changed the Naga society entirely and it bears little semblance to the tribal society that it was a century ago. In 1963, Nagaland became a state of India.
Every year, first week of December, all tribes of Nagaland present their culture at the Hornbill festival at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 km from Kohima, the capital of Nagaland.
The week long festival unites one and all in Nagaland and people enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts which include paintings, wood carvings, and sculptures are also on display.
You can reach Kohima within 2 hours by car from Dimapur. There are several flights per day from Kolkatta to Dimapur.