With no local script, the ancient history of Nagaland is quite unclear. The earliest records of the presence of the Naga people in the region dates back to 1228 CE. However, what we do know for sure is that Nagaland was an independent state without much interaction with the outside world due to cultural barriers and geographical isolation. Life remained fairly undisturbed until the British annexed Assam in 1826 and the warrior tribes of the hills of the Assam Valley (now referred to as the Nagas) came to their notice. Over the next few decades, hostility rose as the people of Nagaland fought hard to protect their land and identity and a series of battles were fought where many British soldiers, as well as Naga warriors, lost their lives
It was only after the Battle of Khonoma in the year 1879, that the British finally could finally claim control of what is present day Nagaland. The Rupee was introduced and the historic practices of social governance were done away with. The 19th century saw the advent of Missionaries from the West into the region who began the long process of religious conversion of the ethnic communities from Animism to Christianity.
Decades later, the World War II has a huge impact on the peace of the land for a considerable period of time. Even after that, post the independence of India, the people of Nagaland came into friction with the Indian Government as they fought for regional autonomy. These instances of conflict over and over again (British invasion, World War II and then finally against the Indian Army) lead to a lot of the traditional culture, from customs to regional architecture of the land, being burnt away over time.
From the year 1963 onwards, Nagaland was given its own statehood under the Indian constitution. As of today, 17 major tribes are officially recognised in Nagaland. Apart from these, there are numerous sub-tribes that dwell in the state.
The indigenous communities, though part of one state, are unique in their own ways, whether it be the language (dialect), the food, the attire, or even their daos (traditional machetes). Today, the state proves to be a stunning amalgamation of unique cultures living amidst what is already a beautiful state that is blessed with nature and it’s offerings. We often say that Nagaland is a state that would be hard to cover in a whole lifetime but with Hornbill Festival, this quest becomes much easier. Hornbill is a celebration of the diversity that one of the smallest states in the country offers.
Join us this December to witness the state come alive with colourful outfits, traditional boozy brews, mouth watering food, and a lot of song and dance
Highlights of the trip