Music and Dance of Nagaland

Music is an important accompaniment to any festival.It is a land of folklore passed down the generations through word of mouth. Here, music is an integral part of life. The common musical instrument played by the Nagas is Petu. It is a string instrument. The themes have a wide spectrum of variety. They may glorify a tradition, extol a specific act of heroism, narrate an important event of the recent past or relate to a love story.The Angamis and Chakhesangs are particularly fond of it and it is used to give the desired accompaniment to one’s voice. Another popular string instrument is Theku. Of the wind instrument, the flute is quite common. In earlier days, the instrument was kept in the Morung only, but now the restriction is not observed. In some tribes, only boys are allowed to play the flute. The trumpet is mostly used by the herds’ men to scare away wild animals from the cattle.

Tribal dances of the Nagas give us an insight into the inborn reticence of these people.Dancing is full of vigour and vitality. Artists slowly enter the arena or stage, make a circle or any other geometrical formation and gradually work up tempo with the stamping of feet, interspersed with clapping and chanting. War dances and dances belonging to distinctive tribes, form the major art form in Nagaland.The beauty of the dances is heightened by the colourful costumes. In colourful costumes and jewelry, the dancers go through arresting mock war motions, that may prove very dangerous, if one were to be a little careless. Festivals, marriages, harvests, or just the moment of enetertaiment – occasions for the Nagas to burst into music & dance.

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