(Last Updated on : 25/01/2011)
The Zeliang Naga tribes inhabit Barrail range of hills in Manipur
, Nagaland and Assam
. They are very famous for their sanitation and hygiene. They keep their houses and village neat and clean. They are also very particular about the education of their children. They prefer to send their children in mission schools for better and proper education. In Nagaland the term "Zeliang" is used to indicate Zemi and Liangmei tribes. Term zeliang rung is coined to indicate three closely related southern Naga tribes, namely Zemi, Liangmei and Ruongmei.
The Zeliang Nagas are divided into four exogamous clans - Gangmei, Kammei, Gonmei and Longmei. Some clans are further divided into several sub-clans. The Zeliang do not have a youth dormitory system.
Monogamy is the common form of marriage but polygamy is not completely prohibited.
Christian Zeliang does not observe traditional marriage system. The forms of marriage prevailed in the Zeliang society are Kanei-pi-kadomei, Kakhaomei, Tankhi, Tanpui-Tappu and Nauman.
The Zeliang practice wet cultivation or Panikheti and terraced cultivation. They practice Jhum cultivation though they prefer Panikheti. It has been noticed that the women are more laborious than men. Women go to the fields early in the morning after finishing their household works, while the men stay at home. Various agriculture products are grown in their Jhum field. They produce food grains, vegetables and cash crops. Maize, millet, tapioca are also grown. Potatoes have been also introduced. Supplying fire wood is one of the main occupations of the Zeliangs.
Weaving is the traditional household industry of the Zeliang. Besides weaving they are exceptionally skilled in handicrafts like bamboo works, cane works, pottery and black smithy and so on.
The non-Christian Zeliangs believe in spirits and offer gifts and sacrifices to different malevolent and benevolent spirits of a jungle. Their traditional religion is social and individual in character. It is very practical and revolves round the needs of the people. They believe in fairy. Many have accepted the religion of Christianity
. The people continue following some of the traditional practices despite adopting Christianity.
Zeliangs have several festivals and most of them are communal though some are individual in character. Communal festivals are performed jointly by the villagers.