AHUNA is a traditional post – harvest festival of the
Sumis. Ahuna 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 indigenously available resources –
prolific and abundant in the countryside.
Tuluni is a festival of great significance. This
festival is marked with feast 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 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
fiancé'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 specially 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 are settled at these period. The fervor
of feast is synchronized with a chain of folk songs and ballads. Sumi
have two different clan – heads, viz., 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 most grand and important one.