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Hornbill festival

The Hornbill Festival is an annual feast for the senses, when the 16 Naga tribes come together to put on a stunning showcase of the unique sights, sounds, tastes and experiences of the region.

The 10-day long festival is held in December each year in the model village of Kisama. The beautiful venue, built into the steep slope of a mountainside, is about 12 kilometres from the state capital and a 20-minute drive from our camp.

Thousands of curious travellers from around the world gather here to enjoy a variety of colourful performances, local crafts, indigenous sports and fascinating foods. Each day the festival invites you to sample from a smorgasbord of diverse experiences, ranging from traditional archery contests and chilli-eating competitions, to dancing and monolith pulling, to blues gigs and a nightly bazaar.

The most wondrous thing about the Hornbill is the insight it provides into the great Naga tribal traditions. Overlooking the festival venue are sixteen traditional morungs, or youth dormitories, each built in the individual style and traditions of the tribes. The morungs provide guests with a unique opportunity to sit down with the tribespeople and be transported into their world. Don't be surprised to find yourself in the audience for an old tribal warrior as he regales visitors with tales of a time when headhunting was a regular affair.

The heritage complex of Kisama also houses a food court, a traditional bamboo hall and a wonderful World War II museum.


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