The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.P. Mills, tour diary, January 1928

caption: Sitting stones and ceremonial dao at Thangpui; dances, decoration and New Year rituals
medium: notestours
ethnicgroup: Rhangkol
location: Thangpui
date: 23.1.1928
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 1.1928
refnum: (from): J.P.Mills and others, "Tour Diaries and Administrative Notes from the North Cachar Hills, Assam. 1928-1940. Unpublished Government Papers" at SOAS Library, London. Pam. Assam B 314349.
text: 23rd Jan. Halted. To Thangpui and back 6 miles. A small Rhangkol village. In it I got an old ivory wrist-guard, a very rare find. On the way we passed one of the numerous old round sitting stones to be found in this country. Up to last year there was a long dao (said to be 3 feet long) under a tree near it. To move it brought storms and sickness. We could not find it today. Its existence, however, links up with the monoliths I saw yesterday.
text: On return to camp I heard an appeal and then went to see a very poor dance in the village. The girls here often ornament their faces with a line drawn in nicotine from the middle of the lower lip to the point of the chin, the only instance of a custom of this kind that I know of in this part of the world. To celebrate the beginning of the New Year here and the final departure of the spirits of the dead a pole is set up with cross bars from which are hung hoops of rough spindles made of wood and sword beans, and giving bows with seeding rollers and 'sausage' making sticks tied to them. This emphasis on cotton is rather curious. In the domestic sacrifice of the Rhangkols too of which I saw one today, raw cotton and thread play a great part.