The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook two

caption: head hunting and its benefits, treatment of the dead
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 2.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 23.6.1936-6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Heads taken are kept in the morung until the small Ou-ling-pu, Ling-ha-bu, - then it is put to the house of the oldest man of the clan. When it is put to the wall of the oldest man's house a chicken is (166) sacrificed and said [konyak]
text: They feed the skulls at Ou-ling-pu, Ling-ha-pu, Pong-long-pong-pu, Ou-nye-pu. When they bring in a head, some man from the villages meet them on the (167) half way and bring an egg and some rice. They put the egg into the eyes of the victim and pour madhu into his mouth. This (the egg) is done in order to make the victim's family blind so that they can kill them easily. (Still Wakching doesn't buy eggs from Chui, Chinlong and Totok.) Then they come dancing along the road until they reach the morung, and on that day they keep the head in the morung. The next day they kill a pig, they cut the ears and the tongue (168) off the head and put under a flat stone outside [the house] of the oldest man of the clan. The head is put for one day on a stone in front of the morung, then it remains about 10 or 12 days on the head-tree until the flesh is rotten, then every man who was with the head- taking party kills one pig and makes a feast. Then the men of the morung dance.
text: When they got heads all the villagers, every woman, boy and girl were happy. A man who kills an enemy becomes (169) rich and lives long. In years in which people took many heads there was no illness in the villages - now as they are forbidden to take heads [there] are many epidemics.