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: Konyak head-hunting status
medium: notes
person: Mon-thaAng morung
location: Oting Totok Sowa Dikhu R. (Dikku R.) Wangla Yungya (Yongna)
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 4:31
text: Konyak and headhunter's status.
text: Ang morung.
text: Mon-tha of Oting qualified for his face tattoo by going to Totok and engaging Sowa in a symbolic act of defiance to Sowa - the Ang morung of Oting went in a body - danced in Totok - were entertained by the Ang morung of Totok - the next day led back to the Dikku river - dancing - on the way crossed a stream descending from Sowa but did not trespass on Sowa territory - this expedition into 'enemy' country even though it did not involve a head qualified for tattoo - Sowa is enemy to Totok and Oting. 'We went to Sowa. We defeated them. We have come back'.
text: 'Until we have the tattoo, no girl will look at us'. The administered villages take S.D.O's permission - and then go on expedition into uncontrolled villages - this qualifies for a tattoo.
text: Wangla got a share in the head brought back from Yongna - this enabled its young men to be tattooed.
text: You get the status a) by belonging to a morung which gets a head or a bit of one. b) by going on a formal expedition into enemy country.