The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript tour diary of W.G. Archer, S.D.O. Mokokchung 1947

caption: visit to Chezubama
caption: memorial stones reflecting sexual conquests
medium: tours
person: ThepfuseuMesezu AngamiDupa Angami
ethnicgroup: Angami <Eastern
location: Chezumi (Chezubama)
date: 19.1.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 31.12.1946-14.2.1947
text: (31) 19th January
text: Today I pushed further into the Eastern Angami country and visited the village of Chezubama. As we were nearing it, Thepfuseu pointed out a massive stone circle and showed me a row of sixty oval stones behind it. The circle is a memorial to Mesezu Angami who died twenty years ago and the stones are a tally of all the women he enjoyed. Each mistress is represented by a stone and if a mother and her daughter had been seduced two stones would have slanted inwards and would have touched one another. I was told that the stones were erected by Mesezu's son about a year after his death and the tally was announced just before he died. In making these announcements, only the total number of conquests is declared and neither the man nor the women divulge names. Stones are set up, only, when the total is impressive. 'A man with only 20 or 30 loves would feel ashamed'. This is the first tribe I have met in which adultery is publicly celebrated.
text: All the way into the village monoliths were profusely planted and in one case Dupa Angami had earned the right to 28 stones.