Meeting The Tribes In HornbillIts amazing to see how all these communities dress up and present themselves, epecially their facial and body tattoos, unique dressing, culture and habitats.The festival was started in 2000 by the state government to promote the unique cultural heritage of Nagaland and encourage cultural interaction among the Naga tribes. Today, this highly popular festival has become a major draw for both domestic as well as foreign travellers.
Back at the Hornbill festival, few people were at the performance ground witnessing the Rock Band competition. I found the Official photographer there. He invited me to chat. Ashish gave me the quintessential Delhi vibes that I had been missing from my life since long, in those 15 minutes. I trekked up back to my campsite, having clicked some nice pictures from the hilltop. Yeah, this time I was lucky enough to find lift in a SUV from a Kisama native who told me that it was Kuh-Sama and not Key-Sama.The bonfire was lit, there were more people around it as compared to the last night. All the trekkers were back. They wondered how I lost my way, until Oughen cleared out the mystery of the trail that I wa following. I had to begin my trek from Vishama, unfortunately I started off at Zukhama. And the trek with the starting point from Vishama was much simpler. Anyway, my disappointment was released with a chilling session with the campsite folks. The camp owners entertained us with impromptu songs and some nice light humour. Having paid off Manas for the hospitality, I got into my bed rolls inside my tent. The next day was all about travelling in vehicles.
Quite interestingly, the Winger stopped at a small restaurant at the exit point of Naga heritage Village at Kisama. I had planned it to directly go to the DC office at Kohima to get the ILP made to avoid any inconvenience later, but as the driver planned to take rest at the restaurant, before moving further, I got time to google it out that not having ILP for Nagaland wasn't much of an issue, specially during the Hornbill festival. So, I took my luggage off, and started walking towards the Naga heritage Village at Kisama, the location for Hornbill Festival.Oh lord, the steep path, and the luggage, with no food in my belly, and the sun shining on my face. I had three layers of cloth on my upper body and it was hot. As soon as I checked in for the Hornbill festival, I ran to the first eatery that was in sight and ordered myself some chicken noodles. Having gained some energy, I started walking off to the amphitheater where the cultural events where taking place. I clicked a lot of pictures, met the Official Photographer for the Hornbill Festival, and moved on to have lunch. I met Prajwal here who was from Bangalore and had been travelling in the North-East for about a month now. He was staying at the camps below, and I too had to figure out about my stay. After the lunch, cultural performances resumed, and at 2.30, suddenly, all the heat was gone, the sun was almost lost, and cold winds started blowing. The lady photographer seated next to me was covered in jackets & gloves, and my hands were freezing while I was taking pictures. So, I had to go to the market and buy warm covers for myself. I pretty much ignored the craft & hosiery market, but had it been a shopaholic person, they could have easily been stripped off cash in the market. As the performance ended, I roamed around to figure out where the camps were. By 4.30, it had started getting dark, though I had found the way to the camps, and I had started moving towards it. The way to the camp was a trekking experience of its own because the camp was set atop a hill. And was about a km walk from the performance grounds. Mid-way, thankfully, I found someone from the camp who guided me to its direction.
4. Witness the colourful Hornbill FestivalThe 10-day long Hornbill Festival is held every year in December and is called the 'festival of festivals', giving visitors an opportunity to experience the diverse Naga culture. The Naga Heritage Village, Kisama is the venue for the festival and Nagamese people of all tribal sects gather at this heritage village to exhibit the most spectacular show from December 1 to 10 every year.