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Top 5 Popular Folk Dances of Nagaland, India

Top 5 Popular Folk Dances of Nagaland, India

Nagaland is a blend of a unique culture with primal beauty and, most importantly, traditional dances. 

Naga culture plays an important role in music and dance, and an event in Nagaland wouldn’t be complete without folk dances.

Nagas often dance in groups and the most fascinating part is that the entire village participates in the auspicious folk dances and festivals. 

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They brighten up their social lives by dancing. 

Their vibrant outfits, hornbill feathers, red hair, and ivory, encourage fraternity and unity addition to the charm of these traditional folk dances makes the festivities more special.

These dances are performed during their significant festivals. 

Every Naga tribe has rich folklore. Seasonal songs, solos, duets, and choral songs are also common. 

The most well-known are those that honor ancestors, soldiers, and other heroes. 

In this article, you will get to know about the following beautiful and traditional folk dances of Nagaland,

  1. Changsang Dance
  2. Chang Lo
  3. Monyu Asho Dance
  4. Melo Phita Dance
  5. Akok Khi Dance

So let’s see each of these dances in detail…

1. Changsang Dance

Chang Naga Tribe performs the traditional folk dance called Changsang. This is performed during the Naknyulum Festival in the month of July. 

This traditional folk dance is performed to celebrate the birthplace of mankind or honor the earth. 

The folks chant prayers while dancing. They dance together holding neck to neck while celebrating the festival.

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The dance is also performed to receive the goodwill of the sky. 

The folk songs are matched and colorful outfits are worn by the Chang Nagas during the period of the Puanglem or Naknyulum festival. 

2. Chang Lo

The Chang Lo Dance is also referred to as “Sua La”. This traditional folk dance is also performed by the Chang Naga Tribe of Nagaland. 

Chang Lo originated to celebrate the victory of the tribal community called Chang over their enemy. 

The traditional dance is performed in three days festivals known as Poanglem to mark the harvest season in the state. 

The costume of the Chang tribes resembles that of a warrior. The dance is performed by both males and females.

The men generally wear the Armor of the Naga Warriors whereas females wear colorful and feminine attires. 

It also includes the enactment of drama with a unique style of dancing. 

Generations after generations perform this traditional folk dance of Nagaland.

3. Monyu Asho Dance

Monyu Asho dance is an attractive traditional dance form that is performed by the Phom Tribe during the Monyu Festival. 

It is one of the biggest and most popular dances in Nagaland. 

The male dancers wear brass replicas of human heads as mementos. They also carry guns and fire off blank shots at intervals to make the dance more vigorous. 

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The Phom tribe of Yongnyah celebrates this significant festival with the onset of the harvesting season which marks the emergence of springs and summers.

The tribes also pray to God so that they would gain a wonderful harvest of the season and receive the divine blessings of the lord. 

Phom people also display their culture through social events and their ornate garbs. 

4. Melo Phita Dance

The Angami Nagas of Nagaland perform the Melo Phita dance during the Sekrenyi festival, which takes place in the months of January and February. 

The men of the community perform this dance while wearing traditional attire. It is also known as Kuokelie Rulou and is observed for 10 days. 

Kuokelie Rulou begins on the 25th day of February (also known as Kezia locally). 

It is a purification festival and it is believed that celebrating this auspicious festival can help to forget all past sins. 

The main aim of the festival dance is to renew the soul and the body and make them holy. It also marks the transition of teenagers to adulthood.

The dance also symbolizes a reunion with loved ones.

Both men and women participate in the dance and they wear colorful traditional attires. 

The dance steps involve men and women moving in circles, hopping on their feet, and singing traditional songs.

5. Akok Khi Dance

The Sangtam tribe of Nagaland performs the Akok Khi dance during the Amongmong festival.

Villagers congregate in the open field for this ceremonial celebration and performers dressed in dancing costumes join their hands and dance. 

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The tribes dance in an arc by beating their feet rhythmically to the ground. They wear a unique type of dress and sing traditional folk songs while dancing. 

These are some of the popular folk dances in Nagaland.

The people of Nagaland firmly believe in togetherness; hence you can notice that all their dances are presented in groups.

The dances have unique styles and beauty and the beautiful traditional attires further add up to the grace.

Cover Pic Credits: Yves Picq, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


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