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Khiamniungan Tribe
About Khiamniungan Tribe

Khiamniungan is one of the minor Naga tribes, mostly found in the Tuensang district of Nagaland, India and the adjoining areas of Burma.

The tribe's name is also spelled as Khaiamnungan, Khiamnungan or Khiamungan. They were also called Kelu-Kenyu ("slate-house dwellers") during the British Raj. Khiamniungan Naga is one of the major tribes inhabiting in Tuensang District of Nagaland. Khiamniungan is the language spoken by the people in this tribe. The weavers from Khiamniungans are famous for their fine and delicate designs. Miu, which is on 2nd week of May, is the main festival celebrated by the tribe.

 
History of Khiamniungan Tribe

According to the local folk stories, the Yimchungers and the Khiamniungans migrated to the present-day Nagaland from Upper Burma as one group, in one wave. They separated into two groups at the Moru village. Unlike various other Naga tribes, the beginning of Christianity had little impact on the Khiamniungan for a long time, due to their remote location. The first Khiamniungan to convert to Christianity was Khaming, in 1947.

 
Tribal society

The traditional Khiamniungan village had eight important people:

1) Sonlan or Shoalang (blacksmith)

2) Nyokpao or Nokpao (war leader)

3) Meshwon or Kieo lomei (doctor)

4) Ain (priestess and oracle)

5) Meya or Ampao (priest)

6) Paothai or Paothieo (story teller)

7) Petchi or Puthsee (peace maker, elder)

8) Ainloom (the keeper of the a supposedly magical stone; the stone is said to warn of any impending disaster such as a fire or a raid, by moving out of its basket or by creating a sound through striking another object)

By the early 1990s, only the Petchi, the Sonlan and the Ainloom remained relevant, others being remembered mainly as part of books and oral tradition.

Culture of Khiamniungan Tribe

The traditional Khiamiungan clothes consists of bright red and bright deep blue colored dresses. The ornaments are made of cowries and conch shells.

The tribal musical instruments include drums made of gourds and bamboo flutes.

Miu festival
The Khiamniungan tribals, who traditionally practised jhum cultivation (slash and burn agriculture), celebrate the Miu festival at the time of sowing. They offer prayers for a good harvest.

Tsokum festival
Tsokum is the week-long harvest festival of the tribe, celebrated in October. The festival includes dancing, singing, cleaning, repair of the roads, and outdoor cooking and eating. In this festival the people appeal to god's blessing for a abundant harvest.

 

 


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