20 Weird Nagaland Facts to Surprise You (Seven Sisters of India Facts)

by Sankalan Baidya

Okay, we weren’t quite done with Nagaland in our last article. So, here is another article jotting down 20 weird Nagaland facts that you will simply refuse to believe. Nonetheless, your or our refusal hardly matters because that’s the truth and hence, these points make it to this list of facts about Nagaland – one of the states of the Seven Sisters of India.

Let’s begin…

Weird Nagaland Facts to Surprise You: 1-5

1. Have you ever heard of the term Naga Hoho? Naga Hogo is the name given to an organization formed by all the tribes in Nagaland. This organization owns and maintains every single piece of land you see in Nagaland. The government owns NOTHING – absolutely nothing.

2. Naga Hoho is not only responsible for protecting the lands of Nagaland but is also responsible for ensuring that the cultural history of Nagaland is not distorted by any outside influence.

3. In case you didn’t know, of the only two battle fields in India where actual armed conflict of World War II took place, one is in Nagaland. That place is called Kohima. The Battle of Kohima also goes by the name – the Battle of the Tennis Court.

4. Why such a weird name? That’s because, a part of the Battle of Kohima actually took place in the tennis court that was located at the Bungalow of the Deputy Commissioner of British.

5. Here is another interesting thing – Battle of Kohima, along with the Battle of Imphal (the other place in India where actual battle took place) are both referred to as Greatest Battles of Britain in the British National Army Museum.

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Weird Nagaland Facts to Surprise You: 6-10

6. In the Battle of Kohima and also in the Battle of Imphal, the opponents were: Japanese + Indians versus the British + Indians. Yes, the Indians fought against the Indians. Why like that? Read on…

7. The Japanese Imperial Army was invited by Indian National Army (INA) headed by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose to fight and uproot the British Colonial Forces. So, INA joined hands with Japanese whereas the British forces consisted of the British Indian Army.

8. The two battles – that of Kohima and Imphal – were named as Operation U-Go by the Japanese and their motive was to invade and capture Northeastern India and then advance into Northern India.

9. The end result of the two battles was that Japanese forces (along with INA) were completely halted by the British forces (including British Indian Army) and the Japanese registered their biggest defeat at that point in time.

10. Though the Battle of Kohima was actually a supporting assault for the Battle of Imphal, both the battles led to massive loss of life and property. Both the battles have together been terms as the “Stalingrad of the East”.

Weird Nagaland Facts to Surprise You: 11-15

11. Nagas are not new in Nagaland. They have been staying there for centuries. However, even they were engaged in brutal warfare that took place among various tribes. One of the most important features of the tribal warfare was that of Head Hunting. Yes, they would literally decapitate their enemies and keep their skulls. Till this day, many Nagas have those skulls that passed on to them as heirlooms.

12. Did you know that the social status of the Nagas is often reflected by the shawls they wear? It is the shawl design with spells out social status among Nagas and of course, irrespective of the status, these shawls are really colorful.

13. Social status among Nagas is also reflected by the roofs of the houses they live in. Houses with thatched roofs belong to poor. Barge boards are found on roofs of houses of Nagas who are better off. The elite live in houses that have wooden shingles and those houses also have Kika – house horns.

14. The Angami tribe in Nagaland has a weird ceremony. It is the ceremony of Pulling Stone. What they do is they quarry a large stone slab from a hillside. They place it on sleds that are made of tree trunks that are bound together. In order to make the sleds, they use tree vines to tie the trunks. Then they pull the slab for miles. They pass through country lanes to eventually reach the parade ground. Once this pulling ceremony is over, they throw a gala feast. This ceremony is something that is worth watching.

15. The ceremonial attire that you find in Nagaland will simply leave your jaws dropped till your feet (figuratively speaking). Those attire are extremely colorful and almost every tribe uses same material to create their unique attire. You will see spears wearing multiple colors. You will see armlets made of elephant tusk. You will see headgear with intricate designs comprising bamboo woven finely and orchid stems interlaced into them. Those headgear will also have feathers of hornbill and even teeth of wild boar.

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Weird Nagaland Facts to Surprise You: 16-20

16. The two of the most leading tribes of Nagaland – the Konyaks and the Angamis are known for wearing cane rings on their legs. These rings are both for ornamental purpose as well as for an aiding instrument when it comes to climbing trees.

17. Mount Tiyi – this is a mountain that dictates some attention from you. Well, you may be lucky enough to put your feet on that mountain but if the legends are true, you need to be one of the purest of souls on earth to be able to enter an orchard which holds the secrets of life. The Tiyi Mountain is known by the name “Mountain of Life”.

18. Don’t forget to visit Kachari Ruins when you are in Dimapur. The ruins that you see there will transport you back into time into the era of the Kachari Civilization that ruled there circa 10 century.

19. Oh yes! The Kohima Zoo. What makes this zoo unique is that it is located on the natural slopes of one of the various hills of Nagaland. This natural slope makes it the home for some of the exotic animals you can find in Nagaland.

20. Want to know Nagamese values and their long standing cultural heritage in depth? If so, the Naga Heritage Village or Kisama is waiting for you. This is precisely where the Hornbill Festival takes places and its rustic setting will weed out the stress and tiredness from your soul.

Sources: 1, 2, 3

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3

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