Music of Nagaland

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Music of Nagaland

Nagas are much admired for rich repertoire of music, folk dances, folk songs, folklore and folk tales. Each tribe has their own way of maintaining its idiosyncratic cultural traditions and customs through various forms of performing arts, which are an integral part of the Naga heritage.

Folk Chants( songs)
Chants formed an integral part of the Naga society and culture, and were interwoven into the very fabric of their daily lives. Be it celebration in times of marriage, birth of a child, a festival, be it an expression of love during courtship, be it a victory call or call to war, adulation for warriors, mourning for the dead, harvesting, sowing or reaping or even expressing disputes with their neighbors or with a neighboring village; there were chants for all occasions covering every aspect of life. These chants, highly poetic in nature could be termed as masterpieces of Naga literature. This was an oral tradition and the art was passed on from one generation to the other.

Log drumming
On an average, each tribe/community has about forty villages. Of these, one village forms a single unit. Each unit has its own distinct practices and folklore. For instance, each village had a log-drum that was used as means of communicating messages. There was one beat pattern for emergencies, another for call to war, yet another for celebrations, and so on and so forth. These were coded messages and could be understood by members of their own unit (village).

Traditional instruments
There are certain traditional instruments that went hand in glove with the traditional Naga chanting. Such as, Tati(single string fiddle), Jemji(Horn. Made by mithun horn), Asem(drum with animal skin masked upon carved wood) etc. Each tribe has unique traditional instruments influenced by their customs and materials available since times of migration and settlement. Naga instruments have always been a...
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