The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: division of heads between porters and importance of heads
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Lhota
date: 12.12.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.11.1936-11.2.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: We give one head to the Lhota and Rengma which they divide between them so that every village gets a piece, thereby not only the men who had gone with us gain the right of the head-hunters dress but all boys of the village touch the little piece of head with their daos and thus acquire the same right. According to traditional Lhota custom it is the obligation of the young warriors of the village to bring home heads so that the boys can do their gennas and thus have the assurance for life of being allowed to wear the full festive ornaments. When they are grown up it is their turn to capture heads for the next generation. A man who has reached middle age will not perform the head-hunter gennas any more if he has not had the opportunity of doing so in his youth unless he himself captures a head.