- Category: Destination
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The Chin and the Naga compose about 3 % of the population of Myanmar. Most of Naga people live in India, such as Naga Land of northwest India, states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. On Myanmar side of the border live much smaller population of some 100,000 Nagas. They spread around western Sagaing Division, from Patkoi range in north to Thaungdyat in south, from Indian border in west to River Chindwin in east.
Naga burn their field and grow rice, millet, corns, taro potato and so on for cultivation. Some fields are terrace-styled for growing rice and taros. Naga people live in the between Hukawang valley and Assam, India had a custom of sacrificing boy or girl slaves for the better autumn harvest.
Men's tatoos indicate his villages and tribes. Women do not cover their breasts either but wear tattoos since when they are little girls in villages of animism. At some of Naga villages under strong influences of Christianity or Burman culture, tatoos are disappearing. Black carpet woven with black fur of dogs with red rectangular-shapes embroideries used to be the typical design. Today Naga people use wool instead of dog fur. Shells used in the textiles with different pattern show the person's social status, experience of head-hunting and wealth. Yet now the textile with head-hunting glory pattern are inherited to the younger generations who has never hunted and its meaning are becoming history.
Naga's biggest festival is new year festival of January, called Kaing Bi and organized by Naga festival committee who choose each year's festival location and details under the control of central government. All Naga tribes send a few delegations to this occasion, thus it is the perfect opportunity to see variety of different Naga people at once.
At the same festival one year before, midnight of new year's eve, Naga chief made a pray pouring Naga wine at the festival site. When the pray was over, youngsters killed cattle, pigs and chickens with big knives, which were carried away by females and cooked to be served as Naga dishes at the festival. When festival starts, white and red Naga wine made of rice are served in bamboo glasses. Before and after this grand festival, various villages of Naga held their own small gatherings with children and others.