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: telling the story of the Pangsha raid; Nagas horrified by slave-taking
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Longkhai
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Now is the time to speak, and with serious faces the men listen to my account of the march against Pangsha, the fight, and the capture of the head trophies. None of them has ever seen that country, but wild rumours of slave-raids and human sacrifice have sometimes reached their ears, and now, when they hear of the children abducted from their parents, they do not spare expressions of indignation at the inhumanity of the evil men beyond the mountains. However far you wander, even if it be to the ends of the earth, people will always consider themselves the personification of all virtue, and attribute to their neighbours all that they consider bad or despicable. The slave-raider horrifies the head-hunter just as much as the head-hunter horrifies his more peaceful neighbours.