Nagaland has 16 Government approved tribes like Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Kachari, Khiamningan, Konyak, Kuki, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sangtam, Sumi, Yimchungi, and Zeilang. Though these tribes similar cultures and traditions, yet they are very different when it comes to cooking and dialects and languages such as Sumi, Lotha, Sangtam, Angami, Pochuri, Ao, Mao (Emela), Inpui, Rongmei (Ruangmei), Poumai, Tangkhul, Thangal, Maram, and Zeme.
To bring them all together Nagamese Creole has been developed which they use between tribes and villages. Most of the population depends on agriculture or animal rearing and lives in villages.
To get a feel of Naga village life we visited Jakhma village which lies on NH29 between Kohima and Mao in Arunachal Pradesh. Here the literacy rate compared to all of Nagaland. Jakhma Village is administrated by an elected representative called Sarpanch.
Although we saw a number of Maruti Alto cars in the village the condition of the roads etc was not good. Only a few house were “pucca’, rest were all typical Naga houses.
I also did not find any local dressed in their traditional dress. Almost every home we saw reared pigs, as they provide meat. In the kitchen over the fire place Nagas hang their meat to smoke it. This way the life of meat increases up to 1 year.
One disturbing fact common with rest of India is that modernisation is slowly eroding the values which represented a villages as a social unit. This has brought about dramatic changes in the values, lifestyle, and social setup of the people.
Among Nagas fidelity to the spouse is considered a high virtue and marriages within the same clan is not permitted, as it considered to be incest.
They follow the system whereby the male offspring inherits land and cattle.