Almost fifteen long years has passed since the State Govt. of Nagaland wishing for promoting tourism in the state initiated an ambitious project to showcase the cultural resources of all tribes of Nagaland to the world audience in the year 2000 through a seven-day long festival on 1st December i.e. on the Nagaland Statehood Day. This grand festival is organized every year in Naga Heritage Complex at Kisama Village. The purpose of the heritage village is to conserve all ethnic cultural heritages by establishing a common holistic management approach and providing a common platform to all seventeen tribes of Nagaland for promotion of state tourism. The Heritage Complex consists of a cluster of seventeen ‘Morung’ meaning youth dormitory of each tribe which are constructed in indigenous, distinctive and significant architectural models. The Complex also comprises of a Main Stage, World War II Museum, Bamboo Heritage Hall, Bamboo Pavilion, Bamboo Craft Centre, Bamboo Info Park, Kids Carnival, Horti-Space, Amphitheatre, Food Courts, Artist Corner, Prince Andrews Monolith, Media Centre, Medical Centre & ATM and Theheba Resort.
Alike Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland is another proud possessor of diverse multi-ethnicity of local tribes which collectively exhibit their rich inherited cultural legacy in Hornbill Festival through folksongs, dances, paintings, wood carvings & sculpture, hunting skills, ethnic food fairs, indigenous sports and games like Naga Wrestling, Traditional Archery etc. attracting thousands of Indian tourists as well as snooping global travelers. The tribes of Nagaland include Angami, Ao, Chakhesang, Chang, Garo, Kachari, Khiamnuingan, Konyak, Kuki, Lotha, Phom, Pochury, Rengma, Sumi, Sangtam, Yimchungru and Zeliang.
Hornbill Festival Welcome Gate
“Naga Heritage Village” decorated in Hollywood sign style
Hornbill Festival Main Arena
Apart from cultural showcase of folk songs and folk dances of seventeen indigenous tribes of Nagaland, the highlights of some musical shows as well as indigenous games and sports of the tribes during the festival in previous occasions are –
Hornbill Dance – The name ‘Hornbill Dance’ was perceived after closely observing the great hornbill. The dance imitates the movements of the bird, the Great Hornbill.
Greased Bamboo Pole Climbing – In this popular game among all Naga tribes, representative participants of each tribe are allowed to climb a ten feet tall bamboo pole greased with pork fat, splashing mud to create fiction to make it easier in climbing the pole.
Traditional Meat Kicking – In this traditional sporting activity, the participants indulge in spinning their tops during which the time keeper arranged by the department starts the stop watch when the top touches. Later, he stops the watch when the top stops spinning.
Traditional Fire Making – This indigenous sporting event is arranged for the participants who compete among themselves to light a fire with wooden handle, sliced bamboo, cotton, millet straw and thatch without any use of chemical substances.
Naga Wrestling – Naga wrestling is one of the oldest indigenous games practiced by the Nagas. The event has no category of weight, no age bar etc. and is open to all in the form of knockout system.
Chakhesang Tribal Dance
A Konyak Naga Old Man
A Pochury tribal man
A Khiamniungan tribal man
Naga King Chilli Eating Contest – The most anticipated and appraised competition organized annually is open to all with free entry and a special category for the tourists. ‘Naga chilli’ is considered as one of the hottest chilli in the world with 1.04 million scoville heat units (SHU).
Half Marathon – Half Marathan contest covers a distance of 21 kilometers for both men and women.
Pork Fat Eating Contest – This competition exhibits some of the most rapacious pork fat eaters of the state.
Hornbill Snooker Championship – This championship provides a platform for Snooker and Billiards players promoting sportsmanship among them.
Adventure Sports – Various adventure sports such as rappelling, monkey crawling, beam balancing, river crossing, tent pitching etc.
Hornbill International Motor Rally – Hornbill International Motor Rally organized in Time / Speed / Distance format on a Non-Cumulative basis promotes adventure and motor sports in Nagaland.
World War II Peace Rally – To revere the battle of Kohima, this rally is held for spreading the message of world peace.
Hornbill International Motor Car Rally
Hornbill Cycle Rally – An adventure event aiming at promoting Go Green initiative, environmental and energy conservation and introducing cycling as a professional sport of Nagaland.
Hornbill Art Festival – It is one of the main highlights of the Hornbill Festival, an exhibition-cum-sale event of art works by eminent artists.
Hornbill Music Festival – A great blend of musical events in Hornbill Festival. The rockers contesting in Hornbill International Rock Contest organized every year rocks the heart of audience with great pieces of music. In previous occasions, Semper-Soul, an American diverse group of professional musicians and Biuret, a Korean pop rock band delivered some dynamic performances and mesmerized the entire audience. ‘Ultimate Hornbill Choir’ competition is another unique musical competition open for all events which seeks to promote choral music in Nagaland as well as choral arrangements of the Naga Folk Tunes into the mainstream arena.
Fashion Shows and Beauty Pageant – It provides a platform to designers and aspiring models to showcase their exceptional talents. Upcoming musicians, dance groups and singers also find greater opportunities in these shows to exhibit their talent.
Pochury tribal men welcoming home (demonstration)
A Kachari couple
A Rengma couple
Necklaces and Masks for sale
Hornbill Global Film Festival – An annual event organized every year showcases short films, music videos, documentaries and feature films.
Hornbill Literature Fest – The literature fest commemorate annual literary feat and encourage writers, poets and ethnographers to nurture the cultural and artistic improvement of the Naga people.
Hornbill International Photo Contest – An event displaying the snapshots of both professional and amateur photographers.
Footloose – The National Hornbill Dance Competition: A national level dance competition aiming to blend the cultural aspect of dance and providing dancers a platform to exhibit their talent.
Hornbill Chef – An indigenous Naga cuisine cooking competition showcasing the various Naga delicacies.
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