The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook seven

caption: the head taking ceremony
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Kongan
date: 24.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 23.9.1936-21.3.1937
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: The head-taking ceremony was called Hehuba. First when a head was brought in it was put on the head tree and there was dancing and feasting. After seven days the head was fastened at the log-drum an decorated with buffalo and cow's horns (not mithan horns). There was again great feasting and dancing and drum beating. (30) The head remained one month on the drum and then was taken to the man who had captured it. The skull is fed on the first day when brought in, on the day when [] hang up on the drum and every year at the Moha, as long as it existed. The heads of enemies were not painted. They did not try to take the heads of Angs (which are a little thicker than those of other men), and they were afraid to keep such skulls in the village. (31) When a head is taken in revenge for a man previously murdered, the widow of the latter hits the head with her late husband's spear and dao and tramples on his heart (which is brought in in that case too) with her feet. [konyak] (32) "Murderer of my husband, did you come to stay under me (as my slave)"?