The Hornbill Festival is a state-sponsored event that is meant to showcase the various tribes of Nagaland. It started as an inter-tribal festival, meant for the 16 tribes of Nagaland to interact with each other. In its current form, the festival is held at Kisama village—12 kilometres away from Kohima—and is often compared to a carnival. The nomenclature of Kisama is derived from two villages namely, Kigwema (KI) and Phesama(SA) and MA which means Village, on whose land the Naga Heritage Village is established and commissioned by the State Government of Nagaland. Aspects such as headgear, dresses and food represent the various tribes of Nagaland and their histories. The festival seeks to generate interest in the region and promote tourism in the state.
Kisama Village is constructed out of locally available mud and bamboo, on top of Mount Japfü. It plays host to a weeklong medly of cultural performances, indigenous games, craft bazaar, music events, fashion, cycling, motor sporting, events, a kids carnival, floral galleria, food courts, film festival and a series of competitions in various activities.
Video created by Tarini Manchanda, illustrations by Bhavya Kumar, text editing Ketan Kumar, ideation and support Neha Paliwal.