Lotha Naga
Total population
173,111[1] (2011 census)
Languages
Lotha language
(Sino–Tibetan)
Religion
Christianity (chiefly Baptist)
Related ethnic groups
other Naga Ethnic Groups

The Lotha Nagas, also known as Kyong, are a major Naga ethnic group native to Wokha District in the Indian state of Nagaland.

Origins

Scholars have presented several theories about the migration of the Lothas and the other Naga tribes, based on vocal explanations passed on from one generation to another.

Migration from eastern China

According to this theory mentioned by Hokishe Sema, the Lothas started moving out from the Eastern part of China, passing through Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma en route. After many long years of movement, they reached a place called Khezakhenoma located between Manipur and Chakhesang (the present-day Phek), where they settled for a short period of time. From Khezakhenoma they moved towards the present day settlement of the Lothas i.e. Wokha where they finally settled.[2]

Migration from Manchuria

This theory, mentioned by T. Phillips, says that the Lothas migrated from Manchuria, passing through the foothills of the Himalayas and reached Manipur via Burma. From Manipur, they moved out and settled at the present day place.[3]

Migration from Lenka

There are multiple versions of this theory:[4]

Local traditions mention that the Rengmas and the Lothas were once part of a single tribe.[5] There are also oral records of a mighty struggle between the combined Rengma villages, and the Lotha village of Phiro.[6]

Distribution

Towns and villages under Wokha District

Other parts of Nagaland

Beyond Wokha District, a large population of Lothas are permanently settled in Kohima, Chümoukedima, Dimapur and Medziphema.

Culture

Wokha District is the traditional home of the Lotha Nagas. The Lothas are renowned for their colorful dances and folk songs. The male members wear shawls indicating their social status. The prestigious social shawl for women is Opvüram and Longpensü for men.

Like many Nagas, the Lothas practiced headhunting in the older days. After the arrival of Christianity, they gave up this practice. Though the majority of the Lothas are Baptist, there exist a moderate amount of other forms of Christianity like the Catholics. Catholics are concentrated more in Wokha than in other parts of Nagaland.

Festivals

Tokhü Emong

Main article: Tokhü Emong

Tokhü Emong is celebrated on 7 November. The Tokhü Emong is the harvest festival of the Lotha Nagas. It is celebrated in the 1st month of November every year and it stretches over to 9 days. Earlier, no particular date was fixed. However, in order to carve unity and uniformity among the ranges, Wokha elders decided to celebrate it on a fixed date. Following this Tokhü Emong is celebrated on 7 November, every year.

Notable people

Gallery

References

  1. ^ "A-11 Individual Scheduled Tribe Primary Census Abstract Data and its Appendix". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  2. ^ Hokishe Sema (former Governor), The Emergence of Nagaland
  3. ^ T. Phillips, Growth of Baptist Churches in Nagaland
  4. ^ J P Mills, The Lotha-Nagas
  5. ^ Journal of Anthropological Research. University of New Mexico. 1973. p. 168. OCLC 60616192.
  6. ^ Hutton, J H (1921). The Angami Nagas with Some Notes on Neighbouring Tribes. London: Macmillan and co. pp. 7. OCLC 44920051.