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The Zeliang tribe which comprises two sub tribes as Zeme and Liangmai is one of the Naga tribes who occupy a very significant portion of the southwestern part of the Kohima District. In addition, they also live in contiguous areas of the Manipur and North Cachar portions of the Assam State.  In keeping with their “Naga origin, they share the myth about having originated from the Khezakenoma village, and Zeme are also considered a part of the Tenyimia group of re- lated tribes. They moved away from that place heading towards south till they settled down in Nkiulongdi (presently in Manipur). From there they moved again to occupy the surrounding areas and enlarged their own territory. The total population of the Zeme community according to 2011 census of india is 50,925 and the ISO 639-3; nzm. 

In olden days the Zeme had only two clans-Hru and Hau, but presently several other clans have emerged such as Lungalang, Haikam, Theilung, Iralu, Haikube, Nsa, Ndang, Chin Pamer and so on. Clans living in the same village occupy different Khels and all of them enjoy equal status.

The Zeme also celebrate their own festivals; Meleingi, Kuakpwa, Nlim, Puidi and Tangkum. Of these Meleingi (fire flame feast) is the most important which is celebrated in the last week of March in honour of the goddesses of reproduction of man and food grains. Kwakpwa, celebrated on the 31 October every year, is to pay homage to one’s elders and involves food offerings (kuak plate” Pus “carry”) Athletics are a key feature of celebrations. 


Sachdeva, Rajesh. (2001). Language Education in Nagaland: Sociolinguistic Dimensions. Regency Publications, New Delhi. 


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