The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: head-taking
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Ho Ho asan Ka-ha-zam! Ambo, Ambo! (Heads taken; a repetition for each head taken).
text: Ho Ho-hazam, hazam - Ao-ee! (Enemy wounded, but escaped)
text: (done from a distance when approaching the village and again at the hazoa)
text: The head was buried near the hazoa, at any convenient spot where it could be found if the owners ransomed it, but any old how, not necessarily face down or face up.
text: The head-takers went to a temporary house apart, wearing white cloths only - no black thread, remained chaste, one day only. Puja done with cock by old men, for future success in war. Invocation with " Hram mu na neo, pateo pre heteo wong zeo, here Lei-ra hang prui Ka-i, Prui-ka-i telu-lei mui le. Lei mui de le heteo here-peo du. Pa-mik hazai sung-zu. Wong-keu dao-lao. Pe nrui-bum Kangkwa-gum pe dao-lao. Pei-zu dei-ghi sant ndiek-lu wongkeu dao-lao. Pei pa-kreo zak-re ghi-lu wong-keu-dao-lao. Aram-mi-na neo hgneo-hia pat-zai-neo par nung pa-nke lia ba balao.
text: Ate food cooked by men and remained chaste till end of month.
text: When the temporary hut was broken down by the old men after the 'puja' the white clothes worn by the head-takers were taken by the old men and not taken back into circulation.