Moning Traditions : The pride of the
village, the Morung is embellished with hunting trophies and fine
wood carvingin its doorway. This all-male dormitory, where a young
lad of 6 enters and leaves when he weds, is where the village's
sacred hunting trophies, daos, spears and shields of the village
are kept for safe keeping. It is in the Morung where the boys learn
the ancestral folksongs and folktales, where decisions of war and
peace are taken, but it is also a refuge for the village culprits.
Yet the Morung is not common to all tribes, You will not find it
amongst the Angamis, but it is central to all villages of the Ao,
Lotha, Konyak and Phom. Some tribes also have an exclusive dormitory
for girls where they too imbibe the tribe's cultural traditions.
Of central importance in village ceremonies too are the log drums
made from hollowed tree trunks with a carved mithun head, positioned
close to the Momng. Amongst some tribals, it is regarded as a deity.
Feasts of Merit
The Feasts of Merit are important features of Naga society. The
performance of a series of these feasts (genna), one more costly
than the last, distinguish the host's position in society. Every
feast given entitled the host to progressively improve his standing
and position in the village. It won him the right to wear special
garments and ornaments and he also decorated his home in a special
way to mark his status in society, distinguishing him from others
in the village.
The dragging of a huge monolith from a distance ceremony is the
special privilege of those who have performed a series of feasts.
Stone pulling entails the erection of a stone at the location of
the feast to commemorate it. It is an occasion of great festivity.
Naga shawls are not a mere wrap against the cold they are highly
symbolic. Each tribe has its own special patterns and motifs and
even certain ceremonies are indicated in the weaving of these beautiful
wraps. The weave and patternisation of a shawl identify tribes and
also indicate the social status of a man.
Among the Angami tribals, the most common pattern in these social
shawls is Lohe, red and yellow bands on black cloth. The Lotha tribal
shawls are woven into a graded pattern - a series of shawls indicating
thegennas he has performed. A Naga who has performed the stone dragging
ceremony wears the Lungpensu - five stripes of light blue on dark
blue cloth. The Ao warrior shawl is embellished with the deeply
symbolic mithun, tiger or elephant motif.
While in Nagaland, one should not forget to pay a visit to this
center were you can make the purchase of the beautifully woven
Naga Shawls and Handicrafts.
The Konyak ladies are experts in making necklaces with beads. By
stringing various Colored beads, they bring out beautifully intricate
Brass / Copper Statuettes
Brass or copper ornaments are used by all the Naga Tribes. However,
brass, statuettes depicting human figures were made only by the
Konyaks. Brass pieces are recanted by melting and pouring it down,
stone or clay moulds and thus bringing out the desired statuettes.
Music forms an integral part of Naga life. Various instruments are
used to accompany the singing of folk songs. Tati, a single stringed
instrument is popularly used by the Angami farmers, and young couples
to sing traditional folk and love songs. There are other indigenous
wind instruments made of bamboo, and buffalo horns used during festivals
and other special gatherings.
Woodcarving is a common practice among all Naga tribes. Objects
varying from dishes., walking sticks, smoking pipes, pounding tables
to colossal carving of house beams and pillars, log-drum, village
gate, etc. are done using simple tools like the hand-drill, and
Information on Traditional Crafts, arts, handicrafts of Nagaland - India