The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: dividing up the skulls; the eye and jaw most valuable
medium: diaries
person: PungweiApong
location: Tamlu Mon Wanching
date: 15.12.1936
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: Pungwei as well and the Wanching dobashi, Apong (nb. gaonbura, see above. trans.) (67) had come to be convinced that the heads from the skull tree of Pangsha could certainly be used for gennas so I decided to give a piece to Tamlu as well. In the evening we take it upon us to divide one head and as I try to cut up the skull with one of the heavy Mon daos I wonder how it is possible to break a living person's skull. I had already accepted the idea to part with two of the heads to divide them between all villages but the special wishes of my companions made that appear too little. Everyone wanted a part from around the eye, possibly also a bit of the upper jaw and scorned the succession of taking a piece from the back of the skull, for the parts around the eyes and nose are considered to be by far the best and apparently give the right to gennas of a higher degree. Finally both Pungwei as well as the Wanching gaonbura received a good piece although each would have liked to take the whole head. But the piece for Wanching I kept back in a carrier basket to give to the people of Wanching myself.