The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter Twenty-one. Head-Hunting Rites
caption: functions of head-hunting and effects of stopping it
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Thus the bringing in of a head not only furthers in a magical way the fertility of the village, but also in a more concrete manner acts as an incentive to trade and production. In fact, the prohibition of head-hunting deprives the Nagas, not only of an exciting sport, but also of a stimulant to economic effort. In the life of primitive tribes every institution is linked so closely with the whole social structure that any enforced infringement has more far-reaching consequences than it is possible to foresee without intimate knowledge of the whole social and economic organism.