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 house carving
medium: notes
person: Chambesi/ of Phire-Ahire
ethnicgroup: Sangtam
location: Phire-Ahire (Phire Ahire)
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 5:32
text: Sangtam house carving. House carvings are very rare and are in the main influenced by Aos. In Phire Ahire Chambesi is a young interpreter (21). He was married to a Sangtam girl who was educated near the Ao village of Changki. In 1947 he erected a great panel across the porch carved with pairs of hornbills in the centre, and 2 human heads, and painted with figures of daos, spades, pipes, spears and mithan. Although so young Chambise has performed a mithan sacrifice and has also gained full warriors' status by getting 2 heads on the Sampurr expedition. The pipe is an index to status - only those who have completed the feast can smoke a metal pipe - others must content themselves with wood or bamboo.