Nagaland is a state in the far north-eastern part of India. It borders Assam to the west and north with Myanmar to the east and It’s home to diverse range of indigenous tribes, with many festivals and markets celebrating the different tribes traditions and cultures.Their individual rituals, festivals and beliefs of each tribe differentiates it from other tribes.
Nagaland is inhabited by 16 major tribes – Ao, Angami, Chang, Konyak, Lotha, Sumi, Chakhesang, Khiamniungan, Kachari, Phom, Rengma, Sangtam, Yimchungrü, Kuki, Zeliang and Pochury . WIth aach tribe is unique in character, dress and has its own unique distinct customs and dress although they have two main things in common which are language and religion – English is in predominant use and Nagaland is one of three states in India where the population is predominantly Methodist / Christian.
Taking place at tyhe beginning of December each year it lasts for ten days and takes place in Kohima and takes place to protect, sustain, and promote the richness of the Naga heritage and their traditional traditions.
At the Hornbill festival, all the Naga tribes come together on various days to celebrate and display their traditions and culture and it’s a time where all the tribes gather up to show the world their age old traditions along with letting them bond and get closer to knowing each other.
The main events of the Hornbill Festival take place at the Naga Heritage Village, Kisama which is about 12 kms from Kohima, the capital city of Nagaland. Traditional Naga huts and Morungs The festival is scenic and mystical, and simply awesome to be a witness to.
Nagaland and the Konyak tribes are both not that easy to get to or find even once you are in the vicinity. Its a several day car trip from Guwahati where we start our adventure from with mini adventures along the way makiing this a truly memorable Nagaland photography course.
This year we started the trip of in a little luxury with a short stay at The Guwhati Raddison Blue Hotel and take a trip to the beautiful Kamakhya Temple where Lord Shiva’s wifes body parts were dropped and is now a famous pilgrimage site in Assam. Its a great place to photograph with streams of people from first light to dusk mostling taking a pilgrimage ti visit this holy temple. Id really reccommend getting here early as the light is beautiful. You can get great images both inside the main temple although not the inner temple and the surrounding areas.
From Guwhati we took a people carrier and a five hour drive to Kazingra National Park where we stayed at the Wild Grass Lodge for a relaxing evening before taking an early start the following morning into the park for an elephant and rhino safari before making our way on a four hour car journey to Sivasagar which is again a bustling great place for street photography.
Early the next morning we entered Nagaland through its old style border crossing and made our way to Mon stopping several time on the way as we passed throug remote rural villages photographing locals stayed at the only hotel. The Hotels are a lot more basic out here but still offer comfort and great local food.
Over the next couple of days we spend all our time with a couple of tribes taking pictures of both the tribesmen and weomen along with the people in the local villages. Ive now managed to build up a great trusting relationship with these people visiting thier homes that lets us get great access to them enabling you to capture truly unique pictures and experience their lives and homes up close.
Pictures and Videos from the trip
Testimonial.. David Huggett
I have been away with Mark 4 times since meeting him 2 years ago, visiting Varanasi twice, and have learned an incredible amount about photographic principles and street photography, and indeed the whole concept of what makes a good image. He doesn’t beat around the bush, if an image is poor he will tell you so, yet then take the time to explain how a better result could have been achieved. For me, this works. If an image is good he will constructively help you to maximise its potential in post.
I have seen both amateur and professional photographers struggle to interpret the environments he has taken them to (myself included), and the revelations when Mark helps you to see what is there.
It is my opinion that attending one of his workshops will absolutely raise your photography to a higher level, as well as being an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.
I can’t recommend him enough. He runs some of the best photography courses around so take a leap of faith and sign up! You won’t ever regret it.