Zünhuboto District, Niuland District and parts of Kiphire District in the Northeast Indian state of Nagaland.
It is said that the Sümi’s first migrated from Khezhakenoma (A Village in the Phek District of the Indian state of Nagaland) to other places and dispersed to various directions and settled at the present Sümi areas.
The ancestral religion of the Sümi’s was the worship of nature. With the arrival of Baptist missionaries in the 20th century, like the other Naga ethnic groups, today, Sümi’s are 99% Christians. The Sümi’s believe in the dichotomy of the body (Aphimpi) and soul (Aghungu) , although in the present context it has been expanded to accomodate the tripartite concept of the body (Aphimpi) , soul (Anguhi) and spirit (Aghungu) in the Christian tradition.
In the past the Sümi’s were brave warriors whose status was determined by the number of kills, the number of feast of merit and bloodline. They were known for their aggressiveness yet easy to reconcile nature. Men take pride in their heroic past, which demonstrates their bravery, valour and courage all regarded as qualities that pass through Sümi blood. They are known for their hospitality and generosity, for which in the past other neighbouring tribes had come seeking refuge. Sümi men are known for their agility too. In recent times, the Sümi are identified with nationalism, factionalism and inter-tribal land foods.
In early days in all the Sümi villages, people observe and celebrate many different festivals in a year. All the rites and rituals for the celebration of the festival differ from place to palce and village to village. But it is said that majority of festivals were common to every village. The two major festivals of the Sümi today are Tuluni and Ahuna.
Tuluni is a festival of great significance for the Sümi Nagas. This festival is marked with feasts as the occasion occurs in the bountiful season of the year. Drinking rice-beer indispensably forms a part of the feast. Rice-beer is served in a goblet made with the leave of plantian. This wine is called Tuluni. Therefore consumption of the wine is called “Tuluni”. Tuluni is also called “Anni” the word of which denotes the season of plentiful crops. This mid-year (July) festival is the greatest and most fervent moment for eh Sümi community of Nagaland.
Ahuna is a traditional post harvest festival of the Sümi’s. It signifies the celebration of the season’s harvest in the thanksgiving, while invoking the spirits for good fortune in the New Year. On this occasion, the entire community prepare, and feasts on the first meal of rice drawn from the season’s harvest cooked in bamboo segments. The receptacles for cooking or serving on this occasion, are freshly made, carved or cut from indigenous available resources prolific and abundant in the countryside.