The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: beating drum in preparation for head-taking dance
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Hungphoi
date: 13.10.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-11.7.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: After a meal I go to the Mo-ha morung where the men are responsible for the Chen head affair and therefore have the right to dance the head-hunters' dance. On Chingai's instigation they agree to perform it for me. Already the younger men stand up along the two sides of the big slit drum and beat the rhythm which announces the capture of the head far into the distance. It is less differentiated and also less (130) impressive than the one the Mon people had beat in honour of the dead morung Ang of Oting. The old men sit around the fire while children and girls crowd around outside.
text: When the warriors have finished beating the drum and sit down to complete their dance decorations an old man, apparently blind or half blind, begins to sing in a thin, flickering voice