The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: heavy rain makes surveying difficult; Tangkol women's dress; hair-styles
medium: tours
person: OgleMcCullochBrown/ Dr.
ethnicgroup: Tangkol
location: Leishan (Laisen)
date: 21.3.1873-23.3.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: March 21st, 22nd, 23rd
text: It continued to rain on & off for three days & all I could do was to write letters & finish sketches &c. On the 22nd Ogle started off during a lull for the Iril valley, but I fear got a terrible ducking before he got into camp. It cleared evening of the 23rd & although rain fell during the night it broke clear about 9 o/c on the 24th when we gladly struck camp & got away. On reaching the top of the hill I went on to the station we had selected which had been during our halt below cleared & the mark built. Was detained there until 5 o/c waiting to see Ogle's mark on the hill across the valley. Made out his umbrella & observed to it, together with the other angles. Camp had been formed on the bank of the Ihang & what with our own force of Police & coolies & the Munipuris all hutted it had the appearance of a large village. On the descent & in the valley the scenery was very striking, particularly down in the valley where the trees are now coming into leaf & the hillsides reflected in the flooded rice-grounds bordering the stream. The men of Laisen wear the helmet with its curious ornaments as in fact do all the Tangkols & this name & Lahupah is synonimous & therefore McCulloch must have known very little of them save by hearsay & Dr Brown has copied him & perpetuated errors. The dress of the women consists of a skirt which descends as far as the knee & hiding it. When standing upright, it is striped broadly in equal widths of white & black occasionally red & more rarely a dark red brown. The married women part their hair plainly in the centre & tied back over the ear. Girls of 18-20 are seen with the hair brought down over the forehead & cut off straight like the Munipuri girls. Still younger 8-12 are clean shaved. Little boys are the same but one long top knot is left on the sinciput. While waiting for the poles to shew out when on Laisen, I amused myself watching the people in the village below when left to themselves & thus saw four women dressing each other's hair in front of one of the houses. They performed their toilet standing up & very magnificent long hair two of them had hanging to the knee behind. In the next village also Tangkol some of the women bring a small lock of the front hair forward down on the forehead & cut off square, the rest parted right & left. I did not observe any women in these villages wearing the head dress observed in Hainopo above the Laimakhong valley.