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Naga lifestyle

December 13, 2010 3 min read

Pineapple plantation

Buddies chatting on a ‘puliya’

Local Backpacks

Dimapur market: Small intertwining lanes that would challenge the map-drawers skills; Shops spilling out onto the streets with wares stacked in sacks and baskets on the road.

Salesmen-owners sitting on a makeshift arrangement outside the store, crowding up the space for pedestrian-shoppers. The road holds enough space for 3 humans to stand alongside each other, with enough room for a dog or goat or an occasional bicycle. Color, noise and smells ambush the senses and drown out any semblance of order, and the brain of the casual visitor is forced to be on high-alert at all times.

Exactly the same as any market in any city in small town  – Agra or Meerut or Panaji – a complete experiential feast!

In Dimapur, live silkworms caterpillars and pupa are sold as food items, alongside dried eel and little frogs and snails of all kinds….

Round snails

Spiral snails

Silkworm Larvae for snacks

And silk worm pupa for snacks

Dried eels

“Raj Mircha” – the king of chillies – and one of the hottest in the world grows in Nagaland


I used to think that the oriental features came from the proximity to China, but after seeing enough local faces, it is clear that this is the Japanese influence.

In WWII, the Japanese had reached Kohima, and were defeated by the British at Kohima.

The inscriptions on the gravestones of the British soldiers who at Kohima made me cry. It did not matter that these men were from an alien nation or that they lived and died so long ago. The grief of the people they loved and left behind, contained in the inscribed words, travelled across history to touch me. A photoessay on these stones is posted here.


Cane and Bamboo play a prominent role in the lives of Nagas:

Trash can

Bamboo wallsperfect for the earthquake prone region

The local dress – Mekhla -Chador

Tribal shawls in a city store

(More about tribal textiles in a separate article dedicated to Naga textiles & jewelry)

A local store

A local resident

Local transport

Local Menu …note the interesting “Wild Squirrel” and “Wild Rat”

Wild Squirrel / Wild Rat curry


Banana Tree Pith curry

My friends – the restaurateurs

I sampled the ‘Anishi’curry made with fermented Yam leaves offered to me by a friend from the Ao tribe. A new flavor, a new experience for my tastebuds!

The Napfa flower spice – a key ingredient

Local Kitchen

Cutting Supari

Taamul, the raw supari offered to guests as a token of hospitality, is a potent stimulant and is consumed almost constantly, in small portions by all.

Rice Wine

Traditional Bamboo Mug for rice wine

Smoking some herbs… (that are less harmful than tobacco)

Liquid container

Local band singing Pink Floyd to perfection!

Roof with signature tribal trimmings

Home decor

Grinding grain

The amazing all-natural raincoat

Raincoat insides

At the festival, a raffle draw offers the grand prize of 3 bisons…. am totally smitten by every single thing on offer here!

The omnipresent paramilitary

Other articles on Naga costumes / textiles/ jewelry and on Naga dance and music performances are given below:

Traditional Naga Bamboo Climbing and Fire Making

Naga Textiles Part I: Red, White and Black – Tribal Textiles of Nagaland(published on Jozan)

Naga Textiles Part II: Tribal Textile and Bead Art of Nagaland

Naga Dance, Music performances

Tears in Kohima

Naga Portraits (professional quality images)


Dec 12th 2010

The post Naga lifestyle appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.

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