The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - memoir of time in the Naga Hills as a Deputy Commissioner, 1919-1920

caption: some cases
caption: robbery of grave ornaments
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Angami
person: Cantlie/ Keith
date: 1919-1920
form: private collection
refnum: loaned by Dr Audrey Cantlie
text: Another strange case was the robbing of the grave ornaments of a noted man in an Angami village. Headtaking must have ceased about 1880 but he was said to have taken a head in war and the tail feather of a hornbill rightly appeared on his headdress. His ceremonial dress, his spear and necklets of shells were placed on his grave. They were stolen; a sacrilege hitherto unheard of. Suspicion fell on a man of the village but he took an oath on his own life that he was not guilty. I sent out a dobashi to enquire but no evidence could be found. Six months later he died suddenly, an event possibly unfortunate for him but fortunate for public morality.