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: taboo regarding women's petticoats
medium: notes
person: Zingkaolang/ of MaguilongKhutuing/ of Maguilong
location: Magulong (Maguilong) Paisa (Peisia)
date: 10.1944
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: No man may wear a woman's petticoat, unless an absolutely new one, never worn, in which case some young man might put it on for fun; but one in use, never.
text: For a woman to strike a man, a weapon, or anything else, with her petticoat is "very bad" (because of its contact with the female genitals) and exerts a harmful influence on everything masculine it touches.
text: In Maguilong in Oct. 1944, the gaonbura and principal male dancer retired and came back dressed as girls and put on a girls' dance with much by-play. The skirts they wore were definitely not new. The GB was Khutuing, the dancer Zingkaolang.
text: Zingkaolang always wore a girl's skirt when dancing, with otherwise full male rig-out.
text: Male dancers in Peisia also wear girl's petticoats occasionally. The petticoats are always worn over the man's own kilt, never over his bare skin.