Nagamese are one of the most culture oriented people of India. Which is why Nagaland is undoubtedly, one of the best but different states in terms of traditional dresses. Nagaland has a lot of attire that is quite self-explanatory and sets them apart from the crowd.
Also, if you visit here, unlike any other state of India you will find many people wearing the traditional attire even in regular day work. The people here are very proud of their culture and leave no stone unturned to prove this right! And they also love their costumes. So let’s have a look at some of their attire.
Best traditional costumes of Nagaland that are even popular today
Alungstu is one of the most worn traditional dresses of Nagaland that you will see in today’s time. It is one of their elite dresses that is worn by people who come from rich family. This is an attire for men and it depicts prosperity and success. There is a huge diversity in style, design, and color because that’s one change they have done over time.
Usually, you get to see Alungstu dyed in red or yellow colors. There are multiple flowers made on the attire that shows the happiness and prosperity of the wearer. It is also known to be one of the “happiness intriguing” attire of Nagaland. And when someone wearing this walks the streets of Nagaland- people greet them with a smile and respect.
Kilt dress Nagaland is one of the most popular across the state and nation. This is a very significant dress for the locals and there are certain rules to be followed. Kilt looks like a shawl but it isn’t one. Actually, a Kilt is a dress that is worn by men and is known as the working dress in black. This attire of Nagaland gets the name because of its color. Mostly whenever you will see men wearing this dress, it will be of black color. The attire has an intriguing design with cowries. And do you know, before these cowries are glued to the attire base; they are rubbed with flat stones for a better cloth cohesion bond.
There is another important thing to note here- the man who wears a Kilt is the one who knits it. No one else including his wife or mother is allowed to knit a Kilt for them. Many people say, if the man gets the Kilt swed by someone else, he brings bad luck to the family. The cowries you see on the dress are a symbol of success. It is also the symbol of love and war both. There is again a historic belief and story to support this statement.
3. Azu Jangup Su
This one is a pretty dress for ladies. This is worn by them on multiple occasions, especially during certain festivals. Azu Jangup Su is a type of skirt which is considered to be a popular costume of the women of Nagaland. This is usually a long and straight skirt that bears colored strips to create boxes. Mostly, you’d see red and yellow stripes on the dress.
The skirt is accompanied by a top that can be chosen by the wearer. But majorly it should be black in color. And then there can be headgear, traditional bangles, and necklace. The entire look beautifies the wearer multiple times.
4. Moyer Tusk
Moyer Tusk has nothing to do with any animal’s tusks. Rather this is a simple ordinary traditional dress of Nagaland for females. Over time, there have been multiple changes done to the attire but the traditional one was always dyed with a dark blue color.
A Moyer Tusk is a piece of cloth that has a zigzag band-like pattern on the edges. And the rest of the cloth remained virgin. It is usually paired with heavy jewelry to create an elegant look from it.
Mechala is another amazing cloth that comes under the “traditional attire of Nagaland.” And Nagame women wear this on multiple occasions. This dress is nothing but a cloth that is beautifully wrapped around the shawl and skirt worn by the woman. There is no specific style, design, or color that’s connected to this attire and you will see a lot of variety amongst the people here.
Neikhro can be said as an alternative of petticoat for women in Nagaland. This is also a traditional costume of Nagaland and one of the most popular and extensively worn here. Neikhro finds a lot of similarities with the traditional dress of Manipur but they are totally different. Neikhro is a unique dress-like costume that is worn to complete the look. Also what makes Neikhro unique or different from others is the pattern and color combination.
Tsungkotepsu is also a warm shawl that has its roots in the AO warriors. It was firstly made and worn by them to fight their wars during colder seasons. There are multiple figures made on the shawl which can be of animals like cock, tiger, Mithun, Elephant, spear, and even a human head. The shawl is highly attractive and beautiful. People love wearing them and flaunt them. But there is a meaning to all the symbols that are made on Tsungkotepsu. Where tiger represents that ability of the wearer to hunt, Mithun tells that the wearer is wealthy, and there are other depictions of other drawings.
Nagaland is rich in culture, flora, fauna, and many other things. It was an offbeat destination earlier but picked up a lot of traction recently. It is one of those places where every kind of traveler loves to visit. Be it a nature lover or an adventure junkie; everyone finds their melody here. Also, if you are visiting here make sure you know how to wear Nagaland traditional dresses because they are very attractive. Be it the Kilt dress of Nagaland or the special ones they wear during the festivals of Nagaland- all of them have uniqueness and they are beautiful in their ways.
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