The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: customs concerning captured heads
medium: diaries
person: Chingmak
ethnicgroup: Chang
location: Chingmei
date: 20.11.1936
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: The reason why no real heads are hanging from it are as follows. Some Chingmei youth had participated for the fun of it in the famous attack on Saochu which had taken place in the spring. When they came home with their loot the chieftain, Chingmak, was so outraged about this betrayal of an allied village that he threw the captured heads out of the village into the jungle before any genna had been performed with them. It shows his authority in the village that the owners of the heads did not oppose him. In other circumstances the Chingmei people carefully keep the heads in the drum house. Frequently they also attach mithan or buffalo horns to the skulls, a custom one also finds with some Konyak but not among the Sangtam