Tuluni is an important festival of the ‘Sumi’ tribes in Nagaland who are the inhabitants of Zunheboto district. This festival is celebrated in the month of July generally on the eight day of every year.
The most significant festival celebrated by the Sumi Naga tribe of Nagaland is the Tuluni Festival. This festival is celebrated to rejoice the most abundant and fruitful season of the year in Nagaland. The Sumi tribe in Nagaland celebrates the Tuluni Festival with splendor and grandeur. During the Tuluni Festival there are prayers and offerings that are given to Litsaba, who is the deity of fruitfulness who gives life and protection to the crops.
Tuluni is one among many popular festivals of Nagaland and is of superior adherence to the Sumi people. People usually celebrate this festival with great joy. The tribes of Nagaland take great efforts and pride in celebrating their harvest and seasonal festivals.
A festival is always in order before and after every harvest season. Tuluni is a harvest festival of the Sumi tribe. People who work effortlessly in farms throughout the year relax during this festival and celebrate with delight. It is in the Sumi culture to arrange betrothal of young couples during the festival. The remainder of the festival is celebrated in the heavy observance and execution of various age old rituals and ceremonies.
Various things are prepared like rice wine and beer. Animals are slaughtered for meat which is then used in feasts and parties. People allow themselves to drink to their heart’s content. Goblets are crafted out of plantation leaves to serve home prepared rice beer. Gifts and ornate tokens are exchanged and appreciation is expressed. The festival celebrates the joy of people for a very fruitful season. Prayers are initiated and Gods are presented with beer prepared out of rice. Food is also given as offering on leaves.
In the past Tuluni was celebrated in the two regions namely ‘Ghabo’ and ‘Ajo’ in different periods of time. The Ghabo was a hot region and the people residing there known as ‘Ghabomi’ used to celebrate this festival before the people of Ajo called as ‘Ajomi’. Generally it was to be celebrated four months after the implanting of seeds. In the year 1972 the people of Sumi decided to celebrate it on the same day or the eighth of July every year.
Sumi Naga Tribes
The Sumi or Sema Naga is one of the major Naga tribes of Nagaland. Sumi Nagas mostly inhabit the central and southern regions of Nagaland, Zunheboto is the district of the Sumis and a major part of Dimapur district.
The Sumi Nagas are bordered by the Angamis on the south, Rengma and Lotha on the west , Ao and Sangtams on the north, Yimchungers and Tukomi Sangtams on the east, while in the northwest comer they touch the Changs and in the south east the naked Rengma.
Of all these tribes, the Sumi Naga seems to be the most primitive. The majority of the Sumi did not know how to weave, while the making of iron weapons are apparently of quite recent introduction. But in due course of time they started learning and adopted the method of weaving and making of iron weaponry and some of the best spears and Daos in the Naga Hills districts used to be made by a self taught Sumi in Litsami village.