List of recognized Naga tribes of Nagaland

Nagaland has five communities notified as STs. These are Garo, Kachari, Kuki, Mikir, and Naga. Naga is a generic name for several groups, each having distinct identity.

In 1971 Census, figures of sixteen Naga sub-tribes were given separately for the first time.  They were:

(i) Angami, (ii) Ao, (iii) Chakhesang, (iv) Chang, (v) Chirr, (vi) Khiemnungan, (vii) Konyak, (viii) Lotha, (ix) Makware, (x) Phom, (xi) Rengma, (xii) Sangtam, (xiii) Sema, (xiv) Tikhir, (xv) Yimchungre, and (xvi) Zeliang.
Subsequently, in 1991 Census, Pochury Naga was added and their number shown separately.

Source: CensusIndia.Gov.In

As per the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms post on its website in 2016 , there are 14 officially recognized Naga Tribes in Nagaland and five recognized Scheduled Tribes in Nagaland as given below. Based on that list, and after the recognition of Tikhir as a separate Naga tribe in Jan. 2022, there should now be 15 recognized Naga tribes in Nagaland as given below.

List of recognized Naga Tribes in Nagaland

(1) Angami,(2) Ao, (3) Chakhesang, (4) Chang, (5) Khiamniungan , (6) Konyak , (7) Lotha , (8)Phom, (9) Pochury, (10) Rengma, (11) Sangtam , (12) Sumi , (13)Tikhir, (14) Yimchunger , (15) Zeliang

Before the recognition of Tikhir as a Naga Tribe by Govt. of Nagaland in 2022, Tikhir Tribe was considered a sub-tribe of Yimchunger (now Yimkhiung) tribe.

List of recognized Scheduled Tribes in Nagaland

  1. Nagas (Indigenous of Nagaland)
  2. Kachari (Indigenous of Nagaland)
  3. Kuki (Indigenous of Nagaland)
  4. Garo (Indigenous of Nagaland)
  5. Mikhir (Indigenous of Nagaland)


Generally, we hear ‘16 recognized tribes of Nagaland‘ which includes:

(1) Angami,(2) Ao, (3) Chakhesang, (4) Chang, (5) Khiamniungan , (6) Konyak , (7) Lotha , (8)Phom, (9) Pochury, (10) Rengma, (11) Sangtam , (12) Sumi , (13)Yimchunger , (14) Zeliang
+ (15) Kachari & (16) Kuki

Backward Naga Tribes of Nagaland:

The following nine (9) Naga Tribes are considered ‘backward tribes’ for the purpose of reservation namely –

Chakhesang, Chang, Khiamniungan, Konyak, Phom, Pochury,
Sangtam, Yimchunger and Zeliang. 

Besides the above, ‘Sumis’ from Kiphire District are also entitled reservations under backward category.

(To be updated in reference to Tikhir tribe now that it is declared a separate Naga tribe since Jan 2022).

Names of Composite Naga tribes or communities

  • Chakhesang: Chokri, Khezha and Sangtam tribes together.
  • Zeliang: Zeme and Liangmei together are called Zeliang in Nagaland
  • Zeliangrong: Zeme, Liangmai and Rongmei tribes together.
  • Tenyimi: Angami, Chakhesang, Inpui, Mao, Maram, Pochury, Poumai, Rengma, Thangal, Zeliangrong [10 tribes]

What is a tribe?

The tribes are the autonomous or native people of the land who are believed to be the earliest settlers in the Indian Peninsula. They are generally called Adivasis, implying original inhabitants.

Definition of Scheduled Tribe

The term ‘Scheduled Tribes’ appears in the Constitution of India. Article 366 (25) of the Constitution of India defined scheduled tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this constitution”.  Article 342 prescribes the procedure to be followed in the matter of specification of scheduled tribes.

Why the name “Scheduled Tribes”?

The tribal communities in India have been recognized by the Indian Constitution under ‘Schedule 5’ of the constitution. Hence the tribes recognized by the Constitution are known as ‘Scheduled Tribes’.