Unique Traditions

Nagaland’s Head Hunters (India)

The Konyak tribe, or the savage headhunters of Nagaland, appears to be the most intriguing to us. Northeast India is home to numerous fascinating tribes and interesting civilizations from all over the world. Konyaks are one of the major tribes in Nagaland, and they are famed for their bravery, taking satisfaction in cutting the heads of their opponents as trophies to be hung at their Morungs (a traditional community house). The Konyaks can be found in the distant village of Longwa in Nagaland’s Mon district.

Headhunting was practised in Nagaland until 1969. A young man’s transition to manhood, according to the Konyaks, could only be completed after he returned to the village with a head. So they used to murder their opponents, tear off their heads, and bring the head back to the Morungs to decorate them. They earned a tattoo on their face and chest after each kill, which is one of the tribe’s most intriguing elements. These tattoos represent their honour and pride, and the Konyaks think that they would not be able to have a decent afterlife if they did not obtain one.

Things have altered, though, with the arrival of modernism. The Konyaks are no longer headhunters, yet their brave and aggressive nature has not changed. In the Longwa community, there are currently only a few headhunters left. The greatest time to observe the KonyakNagas is during the Aoling Festival, which takes place every year in April.

Arunachal Pradesh, India’s Nyishi Tribe

The Nyishi tribe is one of the largest indigenous tribal tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, which is located in north-eastern India. Nysihis cultural traditions and beliefs are similar to those of Myanmar’s Mongoloid tribal groups. Nyishis identify as descendants of Abo-Tani, a legendary forefather.

They communicate in Tibeto-Burman and are still working on a script. Because they don’t have anything written down, it’s fascinating to learn that they transmit along their culture, customs, and history through an amazing oral folklore tradition. Nyishis are adamant about their culture and ceremonies. They believe that if ceremonies are not carried out religiously, they can cause problems.

Mithun (traditional cattle) is significant in all parts of life, including social, cultural, economic, and religious dimensions. During the marriage, the groom pays the bride price in Mithun, and they sacrifice Mithun (a sacred animal to them) to appease their deity in practically all ceremonial rites.

I was intrigued by their Traditional Grain Analysis (Amyemch Hikanam) Ritual, in which a priest holds a bamboo measuring cup and asks a woman to fill it with grain, then predicts her destiny depending on how she filled it. Isn’t it fascinating?

Nyishis, in contrast to our urban civilization, are highly progressive. They treat their ladies with respect and include them in decision-making.

Their people, culture, traditions, dance (Rikham Pada), dress, dwellings (Namlo), and native brew apong served in a lovely patha were all things I adored ( a goblet made of bamboo shoots). They live in ultimate peace and harmony in this fast-paced and competitive world where people are attempting to drag one other down. Nyishis are simple, honest, always smiling, and realistic people that value their culture and environment. They accept things as they are and do not attempt to change them for their own selfish reasons. They’re also fantastic hosts.