AHUNA & TULUNI- SUMI TRIBE
Ahuna is a traditional post-harvest festival of the Sumis. It signifies the celebration of the season's harvest in thanksgiving, while invoking the spirits for good fortune in the New Year. On this occasion, the entire community prepares, 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.
Tuluni is a festival of great significance.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 leaf of plantain. 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 the Sumi Community of Nagaland.
During this festival, the betrothed exchange basketful of gifts with meals. The Fiancé is invited to a grand dinner at the Fiancee's residence. Even siblings of the families of both the bride and groom exchange dinner and packed food and meat.
It is a time of joy even for the baby-sitters.On this day they are fed generously with food and meat. Cultivators usually work in groups and especially for Anni (Festival) they keep budget with which either pigs or cows are procured and the butchered animals are shared amongst the members. The reserved meat is used for group feast. In the midst of the feast group leaders get extra offer of meat by way of feeding them by others.Each working group consists of 20 to 30 in number which includes several women too. The new recruits are also made to add to the group at this grand feast.
The betrothed is settled at this period. The fervor of feast is synchronized with a chain of folk songs and ballads.
Sumis have two different clan heads, Swu(Sumi)and Tuku (Tukumi). By virtue of two separate clans the gennas and rituals differ between Sumi and Tukumi. Among all other festivals and gennas Sumis in general accept the festival of Tuluni as the grandest and important one.