The Anthropology of Food: Core and Fringe in the Angami Naga Diet

Anthropologists have studied food cultures long before food studies gained interest among scholars; yet this issue was studied merely as a means to understand other aspects of a culture rather than a central idea, until recently. Today the anthropological study of food has matured enough to serve as a medium to understand other aspects of culture. The present paper is an attempt to study the dietary elements or patterns of the Angami Nagas, one of the major tribes of Nagaland, whose staple food is rice; its cultivation is still of the utmost economic importance even today. Sydney Mintz’ (2001) proposed the concept of core and fringe element in the food we eat which is common to all agrarian societies. Thus, following Mintz’ concept of agrarian food the element of core and fringe as well as the function of legume in the Angami diet, its preparation and consumption will be discussed.