Traditional Dress of Nagaland [For Men & Women]

An Indian state with unique culture and vibrant clothing style that stands out among others, Nagaland is famous for distinctive and attractive colour combinations. Nagaland is known as the falcon capital of the world because of its diversity of birds, which makes the place dazzling and wonderful.

From the fine weaving to the austere style, from the shawl to the warrior-festival shawl, everything reflects the distinct characteristics of the state. Through this blog, you will learn how the local people in Nagaland represent in terms of traditional costumes and how the costumes are not influenced by western culture. Going through the rich culture and colour combinations they use in their clothing pieces, you will be amazed. So come, get ready with us to appreciate and understand the culture of the state.


Traditional Dress of Nagaland for Men

First, we have the Kilt, carried separately from the shawl. Symbolized as complimentary attire, it is black in colour. Talking about its design, it looks unique because of being designed with shells. Before designing the cowries on the Kilt, they are polished on a stone to make them stick well to the cloth. The Kilt with cowrie design is quite famous among the Naga tribe and represents the wearer’s success in war and in love.

While the Alungstu, yet another traditional dress of Nagaland for men, is worn by wealthy men of the state. This dress symbolizes success and prosperity. In addition to having flowers on the cloth, it is dyed in yellow colour. You will be surprised to know that the design is prepared by the local people of the tribe.

Also, take a closer look at the western regions of the state, which usually seem to favour the general pattern. This refers to Angami, which has yellow and red coloured bands on top of a black cloth called loha. People from western regions of the state love wearing different patterns.

A fine addition to the shawls worn by the people of Nagaland is the Tobu Nei which is similar to the Chang Shawl. It comes with a zig-zag pattern of black and red colours, alternating on a blue band. Under this category, many other shawls have been added to it, which include black-coloured Anek Khim Shawl, white Mokhok Khim Shawl, Yimchunger Shawl and many more.

Traditional Dress of Nagaland for Women

Now let’s take a closer look at the traditional attire worn by women in the state. In the state, you will see that the women wear such clothes which are 1.25 meters long in the waist.

Additionally, there are different types of shirts available which are worn according to the clan of the women. Speaking about the skirts, most of them have yellow and red stripes, which are specially designed to mark special occasions. In the local language, they are known as Azu Jangnup Su.

While the women of the Angami tribe wear blue cloth and skirts designed with a white cloth. In addition, they wear Mechala, which can be worn with a shawl and can be worn around the skirt.

Nor are their dresses typical, the jewellery of the women being the centre of attraction. They also wear another distinct dress called Neikhro, which includes a petticoat. The combination of pattern and colour of these dresses shows their uniqueness.

For special occasions, a skirt named Azu Jangup Su is often dressed up by women. It has yellow and red strips.  On day to day basis, women prefer wearing white cloth and blue cloth with black marginal bands of changing breadth. Surprisingly, they often wear men’s garments.

To conclude this section, we said that women’s casual dress consists of a sleeveless top, a petticoat called neikhro and a white skirt called pfamhou. You will be surprised to know that a mixed group of Rongmei, Zemis and Liangmai also reside in the state called the Angami tribe. They consider wearing their own designed clothes.


Unlike other states of India, Nagaland has its own culture, which is why the traditional dress is different. Being heavily weighted on traditions and diverse cultures, the dressing style of the people of Nagaland sets them apart from people living in other parts of India.

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