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 Tseminyu and Tesophenyu
caption: head tree at Tseminyu
medium: tours
keywords: Zukhuli festival
person: Nanyhuo/ of TseminyuHouseman/ MajorMills
ethnicgroup: Rengma <Western
location: Tseminyu
date: 26.1.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 31.12.1946-14.2.1947
seealso: 'Rengma Nagas', Mills
text: On the eastern edge of the village is a head tree. The precincts are guarded by bamboo stakes and no women may on any account cross these frontiers.
text: The last time a head was exhibited in the tree was in 1944. For some weeks a small Jap force had been camping at the inspection bungalow. When a British party accompanied by some Rengmas took them by surprise. One Jap was captured, three were killed and the rest escaped. Nanyhuo of Tseminyu, who had taken a head in the Abor expedition, cut off one of the Jap heads. The next day it was set up in the tree. A week later however Major Houseman ordered it to be returned and the head was taken down and given back.
text: Prior to this incident, no head had been exhibited in the tree since the ferocious battle with Mezoma which Mills has described in the 'Rengma Nagas'. The memory of this conflict still persists and I was shown an Angami shield which is still prized as a trophy from the battle.