The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Furer-Haimendorf manuscript spiral bound notebook three

caption: head takers return to the village
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Kanching
date: 20.7.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 7.1936-12.1936
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (26) When successful head-hunters come to the village they come dancing with the heads in their baskets. They put the heads on the log drum and play the drum, and drink much madhu. There it stays only that day. The next morning they put the heads on the genna-tree outside the village. There it remains about 12 days which are not genna. After twelve days the oldest man of the head-taker's clan takes the head from the tree, puts it into a basket and takes it to the morung. On the twelfth day, which is genna, the head-takers kill cows and pigs. If the killed man was rich he even may kill a mithan in the village, outside the home of the head-taker. The head-taker (27) if he has no cows will kill two pigs, and those who helped in the fight, get the legs of the animals. The head-taker takes the head of the animals. The helpers kill a pig each. After eating the meat the bones of all the legs are fastened together and put near the tree. A head-taker is tattooed on the chest with a small figure of a head, and he wears a small carved head. All the cloths, ornaments and even the lime-pots of the head-taker is different (the lime-pot must be a head). Those who took several heads also tattoo their cheeks with small figures of men.
text: On the sixth day, after the head has been five days on the tree, he is taken down and boiled by the old men. Then mithan horns are fastened to it and it is put into the morung, where it remains. Sometimes they go to war for the Ang. In this case the head is given to the Ang, then the head is put into the Ang's house after having been on the tree for five days. (29) If an Ang wants to wear special cloth he sends his men to get heads.
text: (30) [konyak]