In Nagaland, the 10-day long Hornbill Festival 2022 has begun on December 1, at Naga heritage village Kisama.

 

About the ‘Hornbill festival’

  • The 23rd edition of the annual event started on December 1, 2022.
  • Also called the “festival of festivals”, the 10-day annual programme brings all the 17 tribes of the Nagaland on a platform and facilitates the promotion of their culture to the rest of the world.
  • The first edition of the festival – which is named after the Indian hornbill, the large and colourful forest bird which is displayed in the folklore of most of the state’s tribes – was held in 2000.
  • Organised by the State Tourism and Art & Culture Departments, the Hornbill Festival is held at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama, about 12 km from Kohima.
  • Festival highlights include the traditional Naga Morungs exhibition and the sale of arts and crafts, food stalls, herbal medicine stalls, flower shows and sales, cultural medley – songs and dances, fashion shows etc.

 

About the ‘Great Indian Hornbill’

  • The great hornbill also known as the concave-casqued hornbill, great Indian hornbill or great pied hornbill, is one of the larger members of the hornbill family.
  • Scientific name: Buceros Bicornis
  • Appearance and description —
      • It can grow to a length of 4.5 feet (1.4m).
      • The body is covered with black feathers and the wing tips have a ban of white feathers.
      • The tail, sometimes reaching up to 3 feet (7.6cm), is white with bans of black feathers across.
      • One distinct mark of the hornbills is their bright yellow and black casque on top of its massive bill, a helmet like head and is solid ivory.
      • Male hornbills have been known to indulge in aerial casque butting flights. Females are smaller than males and have blue instead of red eyes.
      • They usually have short legs, but have broad feet.
  • Distribution in the world – They are found in the forests of the North eastern region of India, Bhutan, Nepal, Mainland Southeast Asia, Indonesian Island of Sumatra.
  • Distribution in India –  They are also found in a few forest areas in the Western Ghats and in the forests along the Himalayas.
  • It is long-lived, living for nearly 50 years in captivity.
  • They are known as the ‘farmers of the forest’ due to the role they play in dispersing the seeds of numerous fruit trees. The carry the seeds of the fruit they eat in their droppings, thereby transporting the seeds elsewhere and helping the forest regenerate
  • It will prey on small mammals, reptiles and birds.
  • IUCN status– Vulnerable
  • It is listed on Appendix I of CITES
  • State bird – The great hornbill is the state bird of Chin State in Myanmar, and of Kerala and Arunachal Pradesh in India. Blyths tragopan is the state bird of Nagaland.