The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: leg tattoos of girls
medium: diaries
person: Shankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 23.12.1936
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: Wakching 23/12/1936.
text: Again storm and rain were beating against the bungalow at night. The morning was heavily overcast but occasionally the sun came out. I talked to Shankok's sister who was coincidentally near the bungalow, into letting me copy her tattoos and she proved to be much less shy about it than I had expected. However Shankok was there the entire time as well. He now wears with pride the shell discs of the head-hunter over his ears and the boars' tusks around his neck. The major part of the girls leg tattoos is already done when they are about eight years old. (112) Slightly later the same lines are again tattooed and at the time of their marriage the tattoos are completed with lines across the knees.