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: frogs; tattooed women
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Tangkol
location: Tuimun Phunggam (Phunggum)
date: 28.3.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 28th March
text: Made a halt for I had to visit a point on the North called Rapfo where I had put up a trig mark which will be useful on the road towards Shiroi when those beyond disappear from view. On descending into the valley Butler came out with me & we went on to the higher point overlooking the valley of the Tuimun. One of the Nagas caught one of the pretty little green tree frogs & said that it produced great irritation to the mouth & nostrils. After handling it I unconsciously touched my nose & the irritation was very great causing a copious discharge for about 20 minutes or more.
text: (70) The women of this section of the Tangkols are tattooed although it is not general custom. The tattooing is confined to the upper part of the body & arms in a pattern of treble lines & crosses. Three lines commence in the hollow of the chin below the lower lip are carried straight down under chin to the throat. three other lines cross there at right angles & are carried up the side of the face to near the ear. Two crosses are on the arm, the upper vertical, the lower diagonally. A single line extends down the centre of breast to the navel where it divides into two for an inch or so & V-shaped lines come down from the shoulder over the breast. The men are fond of tying thin pieces of bamboo round the head & bringing the two ends sticking up in front or they tie the same into the hair on the occiput. A lot of detached pieces of a white colored rock weathering like a limestone were observed at Phunggum but not in situ. Thomson came up from below & pitched his tent with ours again.