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: head-takers' aprons and cloths
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Mongsenyimti Lungkam
date: 6.2.1947-7.2.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 31.12.1946-14.2.1947
text: 6th February
text: On the way to Mongsenyimti I noticed a number of Ao all wearing the aprons of head takers and I was told that Lungkam is nowadays quite exceptional in demanding personal prowess. The ordinary rule is as stated by Mills. If you go with column or see active military service, that is enough to entitle you to wear it. Otherwise you can purchase the status by giving the village ten rupees. As a result almost every Ao one sees is a 'head-taker'. At Mongsenyimti, three of the villagers who welcomed me had cloaks with painted bands and out of a group of ten not a single one was not disqualified. If you perform the mithan sacrifice three times you can wear an even more magnificent cloak - bright red, with brilliant blue 'patches' strewn across it.