The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - J.H. Hutton, Diaries of Two Tours in the Unadministered Area East of the Naga Hills', 1926

caption: first tour
caption: use of eggs to ward off danger and to stop fire spreading; painted stones in front of morungs
medium: articlestours
location: Yungya
date: 9.4.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 4.1923-27.4.1923
text: April 9th. - In Yungya I noticed two Konyak customs new to me that had to do with eggs ; one, which Mills says is also an Ao custom, was that of carrying about the person in hostile country a bit of egg-shell to ward off the dangerous emanations of enemies ; the other that of throwing eggs into a burning house to stop the fire from spreading. The egg is thrown into the conflagration by a wise man or some similar sort of witch-doctor or priest with what sounds like an imprecation to stop the fire.
text: I observed that stones were used in building the " morungs" (bachelors' houses) as elsewhere in the Konyak country, and that the erect stones set up in front of one of them were painted in bands of reddish colour (possibly blood) alternating with equal bands of the grey stone. Red and black or black and white bands of equal breadth is a favourite pattern among Konyaks. The wooden "drums" in Kongan, for instance, are painted thus. Other morungs had unpainted stones one or two, erect with flat ones round them [See J.R.A.I. Vol.LII(Dec., 1922)Plate XV and page 243.] to receive the heads of newly decapitated enemies, a custom apparently followed by the Dusun of Borneo likewise. [Evans, Among Primitive Peoples in Borneo, p.161.]