The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: Tamlu men act out head taking dance
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Tamlu
date: 17.12.1936
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: The young men who apparently had done nothing all day long but decorate themselves for the dance now also came along slowly and joined the dance. Some of them had hats with hornbill bird feathers or some other headdress but on the whole their costumes were not very picturesque. Two of them were carrying gongs which they hit with a beater of soft wood and in the centre of the circle dance stood some small boys who were carrying several small gongs on a pole and were playing them. The dance itself was primarily a stride combined with the rhythmic brandishing of daos and spears. Sometimes all dancers drew together and with daos raised high they ejected a war cry. Formally the dance was like the one I had seen in Hungphoi but while there the deep solemnity had created a sense of true emotion, here it was apparent that this was only done as an act.