International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

Symbolic meaning of Naga traditional clothing

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Anthropology, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 7, Issue (1), Pages 1-6, January,14 (2018)


The Nagas are celebrated for their vibrant and intricately designed clothings with each tribe having its own distinct costumes, motifs, designs and dress pattern. Each of the Naga tribe is distinguishable from the traditional clothing they adorn. The various traditional clothings of the Nagas are symbols of their cultural as well as their individual identity. Each cloth had its own special meaning which determined the status of the wearer. Wearing of traditional attires was bounded by strict social customs. Clothing restrictions and taboos were observed against wearing certain clothes because of their associated symbolic meanings. Violating the socially enforced clothing norms was seen as a grave offence. Heroism and being possessors of fertility is a highly pursued quality and these cultural values are reflected in their clothings. An attempt therefore, is made to understand the social values, beliefs, traditions, the social significance of Naga traditional clothings and associated aspects to gain a better insight in understanding the Naga society as a whole. An effort is made to highlight how each of the Naga traditional clothing’s is not just part of personal adornment but symbolically linked to their cultural practices like head-hunting and feast of merit which is an important feature of the Naga culture.


  1. Enwistle J. (2000)., The Fashioned Body: Fashion, Dress and Modern social theory., Cambridge: Polity.
  2. Modleski T. (1986)., Studies in entertainment: critical approaches to mass culture., Indiana University Press, 7.
  3. Ruggerone Lucia (2006)., The simulated (fictitious) body: The production of women’s images in fashion photography., Poetics, 34(6), 354-369.
  4. Lee M.M. (2000)., Deciphering gender in Minoan dress., Reading the Body: Representations and Remains in the Archaeological Record, 111-123.
  5. O’Connor K. (2005)., Lycra, girdles and leggings: the immaterial culture of social change., See Küchler & Miller.
  6. Morris Desmond (1977)., Manwatching: A field guide to human behaviour., New York: Harry N. Abrams.