What is the largest Naga tribe? Discovering the Nagas of Northeast India

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Discover the largest Naga tribe in Northeast India and gain insight into their culture, traditions, and history. Understand what sets them apart and why they are an essential part of India’s rich cultural heritage.

Discovering the Nagas of Northeast India


Largest Naga tribe

Northeast India is home to many cultures and ethnic groups. One prominent community within this region are the Nagas, who live in states such as Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh. They are renowned for their rich culture, traditions and history. Of all Naga tribes, the Ao Naga tribe stands as one of the largest. In this article we’ll take a closer look at this group and discover more about their identity and way of life.

The Ao Naga Tribe – Largest of the Naga Tribes.

The Ao Naga tribe is the largest of 17 Naga tribes in Nagaland and primarily located in Mokokchung district. This group stands out due to its unique culture that blends ancient traditions with contemporary influences. With a long and storied history, Ao Nagas have played an essential role in developing Nagaland as a state.

The History and Culture of the Ao Naga Tribe

The Ao Naga tribe began in the 13th century when they migrated from Yunan province of China and settled in Mokokchung district. There, they created a new life amongst the hillsides. The tribe is divided into clans; each family having its own identity and culture. The Ao Naga people are renowned for their customs such as Ao Sekrenyi festival which marks the end of agricultural season for them.

Lifestyle and Occupation

The Ao Naga tribe leads an agrarian lifestyle, depending on farming for their livelihood. They cultivate crops like rice, maize, millet, pulses as well as raising livestock and poultry. Furthermore, the Ao Naga people are renowned for their handicrafts such as weaving, basketry and pottery making.

Every culture Unique Identity and Traditions

The Ao Naga tribe is renowned for its distinctive identity and traditions. Proud of their heritage, they have preserved these customs and practices over centuries. Men must wear a black shawl, white skirt, and white shawl; women wear black blouses, white skirts, and white shawls. Furthermore, there’s even an official language: Ao!

Challenges Faced by the Ao Naga Tribe

Like many indigenous communities, the Ao Naga tribe faces numerous difficulties. Social and economic issues such as poverty, lack of education and inadequate healthcare facilities are present; furthermore they face environmental concerns like deforestation and soil erosion which negatively affect their agricultural practices.

Facts about the Ao Naga tribe

SectionUnknown Facts about the Ao Naga Tribe
History and OriginThe Ao Naga tribe is believed to have migrated from Yunan, China.
The tribe was initially divided into six villages.
LifestyleThe tribe is known for their handicrafts, including bamboo crafts.
The Ao Naga tribe has a unique way of making rice beer.
TraditionsThe tribe believes in animism and worships several deities.
The Ao Sekrenyi festival includes a cleansing ritual for the tribe.
ChallengesThe tribe is facing an issue with the rapid loss of their forests.
The lack of infrastructure and healthcare facilities is a concern.
Largest Naga tribe

These facts highlight the unique aspects of the Ao Naga tribe’s history, lifestyle, traditions, and the challenges they face.


Q. What is the population of the Ao Naga tribe?

A. According to the 2011 census, there were 232,000 members in this tribe.

Q. What is the primary occupation of the Ao Naga tribe?

A. The Ao Naga people live an agrarian lifestyle and depend on farming for their livelihood.

Q. What is the traditional dress of the Ao Naga tribe?

For men, this includes a black shawl, white skirt and white shawl; for women it consists of black blouse, white skirt and white shawl.


The Ao Naga tribe is the largest of India’s Naga tribes and an integral part of India’s diverse heritage. Despite facing numerous difficulties, they have managed to preserve their customs and lifestyle for centuries. Therefore, it is essential to recognize and celebrate India’s cultural diversity as well as ensure that indigenous communities like the Ao Naga remain protected with proper rights and resources.

In conclusion, the Ao Naga tribe is a testament to Northeast India’s vibrant cultural heritage. Their distinct identity, traditions, and history make them essential pieces of India’s diverse cultural fabric. We should continue to celebrate and value India’s cultural diversity while working towards ensuring indigenous communities like the Ao Naga tribe thrive and prosper in the 21st century.

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