The Hornbill Festival

in Module
Published on: 05 December 2019

Tarini Manchanda

Tarini has made environmental films for WWF-India, the UN, PSBT and several NGOs. Her films have been pitched at Docedge India, and the Union Docs Summer Intensive in New York. She runs a filmmakers workshop called Docu Charcha for independent filmmakers. As a filmmaker and researcher, Tarini likes to take her camera to the mountains and listen to people’s stories.

The Hornbill Festival is a state-sponsored event that is meant to showcase the various tribes of Nagaland. It is said to have 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 from Kohima—and is often compared to a carnival. 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.

This module contains eight videos from the Hornbill festival: First, a video showcasing the visual elements of the tribes and their tireless work at the Hornbill Festival. In addition, there are quick interviews that interpret the dances of the Sangtam and Khiamnuingan tribes, a famous thanksgiving dance by the Garos along with and a video description of their woodwork. Finally, there is a video showcasing the production of nettle spun cotton cloth, a natural-fibre based practice of weaving.