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Ao people

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The Ao are a Naga people of Nagaland
Nagaland is a state in the far north-eastern part of India. It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south. The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur...

 in northeast India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. Their main territory is from Tsula (Dikhu) Valley in the east to Tsurang (Disai) Valley (in the West) in Mokokchung District
Mokokchung District
Mokokchung is a district of Nagaland state in India. The town of Mokokchung is its headquarters. It is the home of the Ao Naga tribe. It covers an area of 1,615 km². It is bounded by the state of Assam to its north, Wokha to its west, Tuensang to its east, and Zunheboto to its...

. Well known for multiple harvest festivals held each year.


According to 2010 census of India, Ao Nagas number 824,000.
Ao Nagas are believed to have migrated from Mongolia through south-east Asia to Nagaland


Ao Nagas are found in the Northeastern part of Nagaland, mostly in central Mokokchung District and also few are to be found in the adjacent Assam state.
Mokokchung, one of the districts in Nagaland, the Home of the Ao Naga tribe. It covers an area of 1,615 km2. It is bounded by Assam to its north, Wokha to its west, Tuensang to its east, and Zunheboto to its south. The physiography of the district shows six distinct hill ranges. The ranges are more or less parallel to each other and runs southeast direction. Explore the world of Mokokchung

These are actually pimples of hillocks thrown at random adjoining the plains of Assam mostly along the valley of Dissai and Jhanzi rivers just before they flow into the plains of Assam.These hillocks are densely covered with bamboos and the climate of the entire range is warm.

It is the outermost Range stretching from North-east to South-west lying to the interior south of Tzurangkong Range.

This is a parallel Range east of Japukong Range. Changki village was said to be founded by a man named Changki, and so the Range too was named after him as Changkikong.

It is a Central Range running from east to west but compared to the other ranges, it is the shortest one. This range lies between Melak and Menung rivers, and therefore, it resembles an island. Hence the name Asetkong (Aset means Island)

It is the easternmost range skirting along the course of Dikhu river. The river forms a natural boundary line of Mokokchung with Tuensang and Mon districts. This range is spread like a bed and so the name has been aptly given to this range. (Langpang means bed).

It is the southernmost range forming an irregular boundary of the Ao area with that of the Lothas and Semas to the south and with the Sangtams to the east. It is called Ongpangkong as the land is higher and cooler than the other ranges. (Ongpang means higher)


With the arrival of Christian missionaries in the 19th century the Ao were some of the earliest converts to Christianity among the other Naga tribes. Many became Christians in the 1870s. Today, Aos are almost 100 percent Christians, the majority being Baptists. Many Ao people have undertaken missionary work in other areas.

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