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: head-hunting and feuding in the Konyak country
medium: notes
location: Anphang (Angfan) Aopao (Chonui) Longmien (Longmein) Mon Chen (Chien)
date: 9.3.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 13:23
text: Angfan - Chonui.
text: Broke out on 9th March - A man of Chonui shot up a man of Angfan and took his head (an old-standing feud - never settled) - being still at war, Chonui thought it was time to seize another chance - ambushed him on Longmein territory - as he was going to Angfan - the Angpang morung (about 50 men) did the ambush - took the head and went back - this happened about 10a.m. [a number of young men who were ripe for face tattooing]. Longmein got the news and at once rushed off with a few Angfan men. [Angfan attended the olyangpu festival in Longmein - Longmein goes to the olyangpu festival in Angfan - ceremonial allies. The Angfan men had gone to Longmein 2 days before - celebrated the first day of the festival and were in the middle of the second when the ambush occured. Do not go at one time in a great band - a few go in driblets - + much coming and going during the festival] - caught up with the Chonui party - demanded the head back - Chonui refused. Longmein were able to come up with the party as they were previously on good terms with Chonui - a Longmein buck then hit a Chonui man on the head with the but of a gun - then a general fight - the parties got a bit away - shooting started - with results as noted.
text: Mon and Chien. Still at war - though no recent heads. Mon will take a Chien head next year when the new log-drum is brought in, at the marriage of the Ang's eldest son.
text: 1. A vicious circle - you lose a head - therefore you must take one - then you must lose another till you have recouped the first.
text: 2. Recurrent needs - blooding the bucks + ritual eg. log- drums and morungs.
text: Longmein - Chonui.
text: Began head-taking 9th March - before that on very friendly terms - intermarriage - war broke out - casualties: Chonui - 6 killed 4 wounded. Longmein - 2 killed 2 wounded and 1 likely to die. Longmein could only take away 1 head out of the 6 killed. Chonui took 2 heads from Longmein later in the day by surprising 2 of Longmein - fight was with rifles. Longmein has at least 200 guns - Chonui is slightly smaller but has also about 200 guns.
text: Chonui - Angfan had taken a Chonui head last year - it was to 'recoup' this head that they struck on 9th March - + Angfan morung needed tattooing [10 of the morung went out to get their head - (no adult warriors with them) - they must go unaided - all 10 got shot up - a boy who was hit by a bullet in the head had his head taken - Longmein would have liked the other 5 heads but others of Chonui came up & they retreated - 5 died on the way back (not on the spot) - 'We have lost 6. How can we let Longmein go?' Longmein said 'They took 2 heads. We must take 2 of theirs'. Chonui - 6 girls married in Longmein. [Trouble is that no action now for so long that impossible to say who is the aggressor - a vicious circle.]