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: costume
caption: baldric denoting sexual conquests
medium: notes
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Kalang pung-ra heloma-gu
text: This is the highest token of success in love-affairs that a man can win. As a pre-requisite he must have done some or all of the following:-
text: 1) Deflowered two or three virgins. The rule as to numbers does not seem to be fixed.
text: 2) Had an intrigue with two sisters by the same parents.
text: 3) Enjoyed the favours of two girls, sleeping one on either side of him in the dekachang.
text: 4) Had an intrigue with another man's wife.
text: 5) Had a double affair with mother and daughter.
text: To make up the ornament he must get a length of cotton thread from every girl whose lover he becomes. He must tell her what it is for; threads obtained on the pretext of mending a cloth, or by any other excuse, cannot be counted towards the total. When she hears for what it is intended she is almost certain to refuse. Those threads which he gets he keeps until he is of a suitable age, about 45 or 50, and then, if he had managed to amass sufficient threads he gets some from his wife to make up the quantity and arranges the whole as two very long skeins, which he wears with full dress as baldrics passing one over each shoulder, crossing over the body and hanging down to the ground on either side.
text: This ornament seems to be obsolete or obsolescent; no modern weavers appear to be known.