Nagaland is a unique culture with a wealth of primal beauty and, most importantly, traditional dance. Naga culture places a high value on music and dance, and an event wouldn’t be complete without a nagalandian folk dance. All of Nagaland’s dances are performed in groups because the people there value unity.
Speaking of which, there are numerous tribes in Nagaland, each with their own distinctive characteristics, dancing styles, customs, languages, and more. As an illustration, the primary folk dances of Nagaland are the Modse, Agurshikukula, Butterfly Dance, Aaluyattu, Sadal Kekai, Changai Dance, Kuki Dance, Leshalaptu, Kamba Lim, Mayur Dance, Monyoasho, Rengma, Seecha and Kukui Kucho, Shankai and Moyashai, among others. However, the prominent ones are the ritual dancing and Zeliang Dance.
The men of Nagaland do the War Dance while singing a tune and crying. It’s frequently said that this dancing style parodies battle situations by using risky combat maneuvers. Its martial and athletic style requires a performer to twirl his legs while maintaining an erect posture, as one mistake step could ruin an entire show.
The performers’ dress is distinct from the usual attire. Along with the War Dance, the Zeliang Naga tribe is known for its artistic Zeliang dance, which is also well-liked in Nagaland. Although men perform the majority of Naga dances, this tribe also allows women to participate in the dance.
Men and women combine to create a circle while shouting a chorus when all that is present is the drum banging in time with a coordinated melody and leg motions. Every member of the group, as well as the onlookers, is inspired by the group’s chanting, clapping, shouting, and foot-tapping, which is gracefully adorned with traditional headgear and attire.
The dancers adorned themselves with metal decorations to give the performance more vitality. A traditional dance performed by the Chang tribe in the state of Nagaland is called Chang Lo or Sua Lua. Similar to the Zeliang dance, this tribe skillfully performed while both men and women were armed with Dao, shields, and spears.
Nagaland’s traditional folk dances:
The Chang Naga Tribe of Nagaland may perform the Changsang dance as a traditional folk dance at the Naknyulüm festival in July. Changsang dance is performed to honor the earth, which is where people originated.
At the event when the dance is performed in homage to the sky God, prayers and the dance coexist side by side. The Chang Nagas performed during the Puanglem/Nknyulum festival while wearing colorful attire and singing coordinating tunes.
2. Sua Lua/Chang Lo
The Chang Lo Dance, also known as “Sua Lua,” is a traditional Nagaland Chang Naga folk dance. It was conducted in the past to commemorate winning over adversaries.
During the Phom Monyu festival, the largest festival of the Phom Naga tribe, the Phom Nagas may perform the Monyu Asho dance, a traditional folk dance. The holiday is observed in April.
The Monyu festival can be a celebration held after sowing to elicit supernatural favours. It signals the end of winter and the start of summer. For the seeds that were sown and are already sprouting, it is also a time of prayer and dedication.
The Angami Nagas may perform the Melo Phita dance, a traditional folk dance, during the Sekrenyi festival in February. Sekrenyi Festival can be a festival of purification. The celebration lasts for 10 days starting on the 25th day of the Angami month of “Kezia” (which corresponds to the 25th of February in the Gregorian calendar most frequently).
It serves as a “purification festival” to cleanse the past of all transgressions. The event aims to “make holy” and “renew” by purifying the “body and the soul” and to promote harmony. It also signifies the transition of kids into adulthood.
The Sumi tribe’s men may conduct the Angushu Kighilhe dance as a sort of traditional battle dance.
The Lotha Naga tribe may perform the “Rukhyo Sharu” dance as a traditional folk dance. Rukhyo Sharu literally translates to “victory dance.” In order to commemorate defeating the opponent, it had performed during the headhunting era.
The Khiamniungan Naga tribe of Nagaland may perform the “Langnyu-Khiamtsangshe” dance as part of two of their most significant festivals, Miu and Tsokum, which are interconnected.
The Sangtam tribe may perform Akok-Khi as part of the Mongmong festival.
Women of the Pochury Naga Tribe of Nagaland may perform the Khupielilie dance, a traditional folk dance. The Pochury tribe’s annual Nazu celebration, which takes place in the month of February, is not complete without this dance. Khupielilie is a dance in which only females take part.
Chakesang Nagas may execute the traditional folk dance known as kukuyipheto. It’s a fantastic choreography because the dance features quick and intricate footwork. This dance is done before a large feast known as the “Feast of Merit,” which is overseen by all the strong men dressed in full traditional garb.
The Yimkhiung tribe’s traditional Naga folk dance is known by the name “Kulu-Tsen.” ‘Kulu’ means head, and ‘Tsen’ indicates dance. It’s a dance that’s connected to recruiting.
12. Plate dance and Baimajai
It’s possible that the Baimaijai dance is a traditional Dimasa folk dance. Young girls or ladies execute the dance while holding two plates in each hand while they move around the plate or dish. There is something distinctively special about this dance.
When the Dimasa kingdom was in power in the past, the king had started the war as the victor and announced victory at the Palace with joy.