(Last Updated on : 25/01/2011)
Rengma Tribes live in a rectangular strip of land between the Angami on the south, the Semas on the east and the Lothas on the north. They call themselves by the names of Njong or Injang. The Rengma tribes are recognised, acknowledged and identified by their district culture, customs and traditions. They belong to the Mongoloid racial stock. The Rengma is a patriarchal society therefore the line of descent is traced through the male side and property rights goes to the male line. The Rengma tribes are agriculturists. They grow paddy through Jhum cultivation and wet cultivation. Besides paddy staple crops, seasonal crops and fruits are also grown.
According to the local traditions the Rengma and the Lotha tribes were once part of a single tribe. Slavery was a practice among the Rengma tribes and the slaves were known by the names menugetenyu and itsakesa. By the time the British arrived in the Naga region the slavery was a declining practice.
Traditionally Rengma tribes are worshippers of supernatural beings. The Supreme god is known as Teronyu. Nyensug and Nyensugi are the next important god and goddesses who are worshipped for household wealth. Now most of the Rengma tribes are Christians. Before converting to Christianity they were all animists. The ancient Rengma tribes believed in the immortality of the soul and life here after.
Rengma Tribes celebrate lot of seasonal festivals that are related to their agriculture. Ngada is the most important festival of Rengma tribes. It is celebrated after harvesting the crop or at the end of November or in the beginning of December. Actually it is a "Thanks giving" festival of the Rengma tribes. The festival starts with the preparation of all kinds of zu and ends on the seventh day with high hopes and great expectations.
First day is the day for preparation of all kirids of zu and second day is meant for cleaning houses and compounds. Third day is the starting the Ngada also called zu kephe dzon which means opening day of the zu containers. Fourth day is called Kenyhun Dzon. It is the day of cultural activities. Fifth day is devoted to cultural activities like dancing, traditional games and sports.