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There are a number of larger and smaller tribes in Nagaland. Though Christianity is the official religion of the state, each of these tribes follow their own ethnic traditions, which vary from clan to clan. As far as marriage is concerned, they follow a set of rules and principles, which they strictly follow.

 The Nagas usually follow a polygamous system of marriage. The people of one tribe won’t inter-marry, the only exception being the Konyak chiefs whose principal wife must be a member of his clan itself.

Another interesting custom is that, if a man’s family brings a proposal and the girl’s family express a conditional approval, then the former would do a ‘strangling of the fowl’ ceremony in which ,the position of the legs of the bird while it is dying would show the future, as their belief tells. Even if the omen is good, the girl has a veto power with respect to an inauspicious dream that she can  have,  in the next three days.

Grand feasting is the the main item of the marriage ceremony and killing of different types of animals and birds is must. Although the bride goes to her husband’s house in the evening of their wedding, its only after 8-9 days that the couple are allowed to consummate their wishes, that only with the consent of the priest, himself.

The Mongsen tribe has a different tradition. After the couple is engaged, they go for a trading expedition for about 20 days. If the trade is profitable, then they will proceed with the marriage, and if it would be a loss, then they would consider it inauspicious to go with it. Girls, until they reach the marriageable age, shave their heads, in order to prevent themselves from being more attractive to have a relationship with the opposite sex.

‘Pre-nuptial license’ for the lovers  vary from clan to clan ; even though some clans are strict on not allowing these kind of relationships, some allows the couple to fulfill their desires.
  Nagaland Christian wedding.
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