Nagaland is rich not just in flora and fauna. It is also known for its vibrant cultural diversity. Nagaland also has a long history of handicrafts, weaving and other textile manufacturing, which is done either by hand or with the help of ancient tools and methods.
Incidentally, weaving, handlooms, crafts etc. are some of the common fields in which most Nagas are gifted and talented. There are more than 20 tribes and 14 major tribes residing in Nagaland. Different tribes have their own traditional attires that are unique in every aspect. And the traditional shawls, mekhela, headgears etc. are designed and handmade according to the customs and practices of a particular tribe. The shawls and mekhela are woven through loin looms by women. This translates to a source of income for many, especially weavers residing in villages and other remote places. There are various kinds of shawls worn by men and women, young and old.
Oral history, which has been preserved for more than a century is still relied upon by many tribes.The mekhelas are worn only by women and this cloth piece symbolizes the pride and rich/multilayered cultural identity of one's tribe and heritage. Along with the traditional clothing, other ornamental accessories such as necklaces, headgears, earrings etc. are also handcrafted by the people of the state and these accessories go hand in hand to complete the traditional look.
Each tribe has their own traditional attires that can be distinguished by the texture and colour of the threads. Aside from these attires, the Nagas are also extremely talented in making wooden crafts along with daos (machete), pottery, wooden plates, spoons etc.
Interestingly the Nagas do not have a written history which can determine the very origin of the numerous tribes. Oral history, which has been preserved for more than a century is still relied upon by many tribes. Moreover, these tribes are documenting their present too orally. Even today the elderly people narrate their life story to the younger generations and teach them various folk songs, stories and dance forms, which they had learned from their elders.