The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: magical force of human skull
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 12.3.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 12.2.1937-31.3.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: One evidence for the great magic force which is attributed to the human skull was given by Shankok's comment that sometimes people of other villages steal a dead person's skull at night and carry it away to their village. They then perform a genna with it which is similar to the head-hunting genna. This is not a new development. (173) Especially popular are the skulls of rich men and they contain great magic power. For this reason Shankok was very concerned for his father's skull. He put 15 Rs. into the stone urn which however he first cut with a dao thus making them unusable in his opinion. In addition he put an ivory bracelet inside (for funeral customs compare notebook 9 p. 165).