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: to Longmien; standing stones; wooden figures; slaves and shaven heads; memorials to the dead; chignons; field houses; basket-work objects in Ang's house
medium: articlestours
person: Webster/ Mr
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Longmien
date: 20.4.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 4.1923-27.4.1923
text: April 20th. - To Longmien, visited by Mr. Webster in 1913, dropping down on the way exactly 3,000 ft. in about six miles, before the ascent to the village and the path a mere mud slide. At Longmien we were among the naked Konyaks, again, as at Yungya (Pl. 3, fig. 4). I noticed dolmens, and the approach to one morung consisted of a long raised stone path paved with flat stones (Pl. 4, figs. 6 and 8). In front of this morung there were high dolmens and one tallish menhir (Pl. 4, fig. 1
text: The wooden effigies so familiar from Ukha to Chaoha are not set up here. Two figures only are put up, and that by the Ang (chief) [For "Ang" V The Angami Nagas p. 385 The Lhota Nagas, p. xxxi.] for a particular ceremony (Pl. 4, fig. 2
text: There is a clan in Longmien of which the women shave the whole of their heads, and this custom is found, in other Konyak villages further north (Pl. 7 fig. 3 ; II fig. 7). The explanation given in Longmien is that this clan is descended from slaves, whose heads were kept shaven to make sure that their hairs should not fall into the Ang's food when they were preparing it. Having Naga servants myself, I sympathise with that Ang. The Pale tribe of Palaungs in Burma cut short the hair of their woman and give a similar explanation to that of Longmien (Scott & Hardiman, Gazetteer of Upper Burma and The Shan States, I, i- 492).
text: The memorials of both men and women here carry rows of dancing chignons - decorated bamboo tubes with a tuft of human hair fastened on at the lower end. Mills tells me that the chignon is worn by attaching it to the extreme end of the wearer's back hair, which is bound on to the outside of the top end of the tube, the tube being covered with leaves and hair so that the whole looks like continuous tresses. The women's memorial places had pot-making implements on them.
text: In some of the Angs' houses I noticed a large number of basket-work objects hanging in the roof. Some were figures of men, one, for instance, carrying a gun. Others reminded me of some sort of branching fungus or seaweed in shape, hung up-side down, but were possibly merely the result of trying to combine many human shapes into one basket. [SKETCH