Introduction / History
The combined population of all the Naga people in Lahe Township is estimated at 43,322 people, split among nine Naga groups. Lahe Township is located in the Naga Hills in northwest Sagaing Division. The Leinong Naga group has a population of 8,000.
The Naga are one of many Tibeto-Burman groups. They are said to have migrated from Tibet and entered Myanmar through what is now Kachin State. They moved along the Chindwin valleys and scattered throughout Manipur, Assam and even into eastern Bangladesh. From these locations, some Naga later returned to Myanmar. Today, many Naga also live in Nagaland in Northeast India. Naga people comprise various tribes spread throughout the Naga Hills. Today, there is a population of approximately 200,000 Nagas in Myanmar.
In general, the people in Lahe Township practice slash-and-burn cultivation, growing rice, corn, maize, yams, and beans. Due to this kind of cultivation, the mountains are barren. The people cultivate two to three years in an area and then move to another place. They leave the soil for about ten years and when the soil is again ready for cultivation, they come back to the previous fields to cultivate. They live this way all year round. The Naga men enjoy hunting and fishing while the women collect edible leaves and cultivate the fields. The Naga also go down to Lahe Town to sell their collected items, and buy or exchange groceries in return. Due to the availability of vegetables at cheap prices from nearby villages, the people in Lahe Town do not grow anything at their homes.
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