The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: Sangtam graves
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Sangtam
location: Chongtore
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 5:29
text: Sangtam - death customs.
text: The grave.
text: A rich man's at Chongtore - the grave itself fenced round with sliced bamboos and roofed in - with palm leaves. A girdle of bottle-gourds on the stakes - 'to take his rice-beer'. Some smoothed planks painted in black with daos, pipes, necklace, a sun 'the gear he will need' inside his warriors' baldrics - to the east a great platform with the skulls of animals killed at feasts in his lifetime set out in grisly rows. A Naga bow among them. At the edge a long beam painted at either end with a hornbill's head - along the beam 7 black pots upside down - with a spike in the base - 'the 7 heads he took' - 2 strings of basket heads 'the heads he touched with a dao and gave a fowl for'. To the east of the platform a tall frame of poles with maize tubers was on it - the latter put up 5 days after death - 'to take to the next world'.