The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook eight

caption: tattooing and head taking
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
date: 9.10.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 4.10.1936-23.2.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (66) Before a man can be tattooed on his face he must go to enemies land and thrust his spear into the ground or a tree saying: [konyak] "I have killed him, I took one young man's head". Usually three or four young men go together to do this. Today only Chinkau and Lunghung are considered as enemies. This is a new custom, in the head-hunting days the young men had to really take a head, ie. join a party which took a head. (67) The name of the so to say supreme god is Ha-a-yang (Ha = earth, yang = sky). He lives in the sky. Ha-shi-yowan is the name of the earth spirits. When they take a meal they first throw a little aside saying "Ha-a-yang eat!". There is a water spirit or water-spirits: Namei-lui. If a man is drowned they say: "Namei-lui has eaten him".