The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook eight

caption: head taking rituals
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Longkhai
date: 17.10.1936
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: (159) When a head was brought in it was first put to the ground at the genna place outside the village. Then the actual head-taker fed it with madhu brought from his house and he crushed one egg on the forehead of the victim. [konyak]. Then the head-taker first takes up the head and carries it to the village. Here a bamboo is laid across the branches of the euphorbia (160) and the head fastened to it. Then the morung (or the morungs if more went to war) dances in front of the Ang's house. The next day is also genna and they dance again (for the whole village). This day a stone is carried to the place under the euphorbias. The first and second killer carry it fastened to a bamboo, the former going in front. Then they cut off a little of an ear and a little of the lips off the victim's head and put it into a (161) hole in the ground. The Benba then sets the stone into this hole and says: [konyak]. The head remains any time between ten days and one month on the bamboo. After this time the Ben-ba takes the head to the Ang morung after removing the scalp, but without cleaning it. The lower jaw is taken to the house of the head-taker. When the Benba takes the head to the morung he feeds it with madhu and rice and says the same words as above (p. 159).