The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: trip to Kohima
caption: men's dress
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Angami <Northern
date: 22.8.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: We were now in the Northern Angami country and the dress and appearance of the villagers has again changed. The men and women are far fairer and finer than the Lhotas and Rengmas. It seems that the higher and colder the land, the fairer the complexion and the finer the physique. Many of these Angamis have a ruddy flush which makes the girls most attractive.
text: I particularly like the dress of the men. They wear a black kilt embroidered with three or four lines of white cowries. Their clothes are mostly black with orange, lemon and green stripes, but others are black and terracotta or blue and scarlet. Round their knees they wear rings of black cane. Their necklaces are very fine - strings and strings of conch shell, cornelian and black bugles with chokers of small irridescent blue and green beads. Their hair is quite different from that of the Aos, Semas, Lhotas and Rengmas. It is cut like a European's, except for a long top knot tied in a loop and a neat tonsure round the base. There is a great variety of earrings - small bunches of blue jay or scarlet minivet feathers, little green and brown wool pom-poms with dangling brass fringes, brass spirals and wheels.
text: I also like the way the young men tuck sprigs of green fern, orchids and scarlet flowers into their ears and top-knots. It reminds me of the Santals, who flaunt a scarlet hibiscus or a waxen 'life-and-death' tree flower behind the ear.