The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

colour photographs of Naga artefacts from various sources

caption: Iron currency unit in the form of a short tanged conventionalised 2-edged dao, bifurcated at the top into two outmoving branches with rounded ends; obsolete and valued as property and as a medium of exchange. Ukhrul village, Tangkhul. -
medium: artefacts
person: Duncan/ A.
ethnicgroup: Tangkhul
location: Ukhrul
ethnicgroup: Tangkhul
refnum: 3:236
person: Mills/ J.P.
form: gift
person: Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
date: 1934
refnum: 1934.82.13
note: descriptions derived from original source material unless in square brackets or otherwise stated
text: Traditionally the double-edged dao was one of the articles of property divided among all the Tangkhuls before they moved out of Ukhrul. The double edge dao was of two kinds: a smaller one used during festivities and a larger one used by people north of Ukhrul. Both were formerly used by Tangkhuls. The larger is also used for killing cattle. Before the monetary system came in iron was used as currency. There is a Tangkhul phrase mari ngazek = to talk iron. Daos including this type, hoes and spearheads were used as currency. A hoe they say was value of a fowl and the double edge dao was 4 hoes: which today would on fowl price be 1R. I do not think the dao etc were made for use a currency to judge by report. These double edge daos are treasured in villages N. of Khrulu and ?Somra. Ukhrul people say this a mark of loyalty to the Khullakpa of Ukhrul who gave them the dao. - from a letter to J.P. Mills from A.Duncan 9.9.34.