The Nazu festival is celebrated with lot of pomp and show by the Pochury tribe of Nagaland. The festival marks the dawn of agriculture season. It is celebrated before sowing pro3
cess, the celebrations are majestic and have pomp and vigour in them.
The atmosphere around this festival is less ritualistic. It is entertaining and it helps to bind the tribe together. The highlight of this show is the musical performances and the singing of the traditional songs. There is an exclusive pattern of the festival and everyone rejoices being the part of this festival. People living in this region, especially of this tribe, are really hard working people.
This festival is celebrated in February month every year. It is a 10 day long festival. People are free to enjoy their time and relax and they spend these 10 days by having the time of their life with no hard call for rituals restricting their heart and soul of doing what they want to do. The festival is held in Phek where it is witnessed by every member of Pochury tribe. Other tribes also join in the celebration to enjoy the colourful wings of their cultural potency.
There is no specific importance of this festival, but the traditional songs do tell us about the traditional and ancestral call. This phase of 10 days is amplified by songs and dances. During this festival, the people of the tribe perform on various traditional songs and dances. The women of the tribe wear Ascunyi (Ribbon like head dress), Akhi (Armlet), Kiileniinyi (Long mekhala wrapped from the chest to the calf), Achulhre (worn round the waist), Akhusa (Bangle worn on forearm) and Asker (necklaces) to mark the eve of the festival. They spread the message for peace and harmony through their performances. The harmonious movement of arms and legs goes with the rhythms of the songs on different tunes and beats. The Khupielilie dancers (mostly the women dancers) are at the helm of the festival, the make this event fruitful and rejoicing. There is no specific mark of a sacrificial act but rather it believes in inspiring the notion of harmony and prosperity.
Pochury is a Naga tribe of Nagaland, India. Historically, the Pochurys were dependent on agriculture and animal husbandry. Hunting, forest produce and fishing were the major subsidiary occupations. The Pochurys mainly practised jhum cultivation. Limited terrace cultivation was practised by those living in the basins of Tizu and Chichi rivers. For cattle trading, mithun and other cattle were procured from Burma.
The status of women was generally equal to that of men. However, in case of a divorce, the wife was granted only one-fourth of her own property, the rest being kept by the husband. In case the wife was involved in a serious crime such as theft or adultery, she had to relinquish all rights over her property. Adoption was allowed, and the adopted children had same rights as the natural heirs.
Each village was administered by a miizaluo (village council), comprising 6-7 elders from different clans. The senior offices were hereditary to clans, but not families. The village chief (kajiwa) came from the Tsuori clan. The office of the first reaper (Nyimzariku Shephie) was held by a woman.