The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton's tour diary in the Naga Hills

caption: Head-taking and storage, and morungs at Totok Chingha; use of firearms
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Kacha NagaKukiKonyakAngami
location: Totok (Totok Chingha) Totok (Totok Chingnyu) Intuma Mon Chi Aopao (Chongvi) Sowa (Shuwa)
date: 3.12.1926
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 12.11.1926-11.12.1926
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 3/12/1926 Through Totok Chingha to Totok Chingnyu about 5 miles. Below the former village and alongside the path were a buffalo head cut in the earth and further on rainbows and great snakes - pythons, a combination which is also to be seen cut in rocks at Intuma in the Kacha Naga country. There is I think a Kuki legend that the rainbow issues from the mouth of the great snake that, like Mitgard, encirles the earth. This village had 5 or more fresh skulls displayed. One was hoisted on a bamboo tied to an erect stone outside one morung and the other four were in pairs pinned by their cheek bones to pieces of wood laid across pairs or groups of erect stones outside other morungs while the jaw bones graced the bamboos. This village do not store their skulls inside the morungs or the Ang's house like the villages further north, but hang them under the eaves in front of the houses of the chief men of the clans that pluck them.
text: One morung had a dancing board rather nicely carved with hornbills' heads and demi-monkeys in relief, and one had a pile of longish stones to which, as at Mon and Chi, a fresh one is added for each head taken. Outside each morung are erect stones generally with cactus - euphorbia - growing beside them and in one case poinsettia. As both these exude milk when broken, they are doubtless as good fertility emblems as the ficus so popular in other tribes. The morung posts are carved in typical Konyak style, to be seen also in the Kacha Naga country, and the open spaces in front of the morungs have stone fences very reminiscent of an Angami tehuba.
text: All Totok very friendly indeed, more so even than Chongvi and Shuwa. Many of the children have brown hair which goes regular golden brown when the sun is in it. I warned Totok that I could not have guns used in their raids on Shuwa and that if they raided Shuwa, with guns, I should stop their raiding there altogether, but that meanwhile I should not interfere with decent raids conducted [along] ancestral lines. Totok did not like this.