Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Nagaland Diaries

An image from 1870s

Nov 29th, 2010

Am setting out to explore Nagaland – home to over 20 distinct tribes characterised by two intriguing lifetsyles: headhunting and minimal clothing.

In the 1800s this area was once  a part of Burma and is now part of India.

The Hornbill festival is more of a tourism fest than a social / religious fest. Sixteen tribes gather at Kohima and celebrate their art and culture  in Kisama, situated on the outskirts of this modern city.


Planning the logistics has not been too easy as travel within the North East of India is restricted and requires a permit. Further, hotels are booked out months in advance for the hornbill festival.

I was fortunate to have friends in the region, who offered to make all the travel and accommodation arrangements and made this trip possible.


Dec 10th, 2010

This is the best cultural trip I have ever made! I wish I could stop the whole world, and make them see the wonderful place that Nagaland is. A place where the purity of the tribal culture remains unadulterated even as Pink Floyd is sung to perfection by the local bands!

This has been the most extravagant feast of my life – textiles, jewelry, lifestyles, habits, gorgeous women and handsome men, and finally rustic primitive dances and music!


Although the experience was an integrated confluence of several separate domains, for the sake of organised writing, I have split it up into the following threads:

Naga Lifestyle

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)

I hope that through these articles, the hornbill calls out to you loud enough to sit up and take notice of Nagaland – easily one of the most interesting states of India!


dec 2010

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