The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - 'Notes on the Wild Tribes Inhabiting the So-Called Naga Hills, on our North-East Frontier of India', by Col. R.G. Woodthorpe, 1881

caption: monoliths
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: Very noticeable objects among these hills are the long rows of huge monoliths, which are either monumental or simply commemorative (54) of some big feast given by a rich man: these stones are often of great size, and are dragged up into place on wooden sledges shaped like the prow of a boat, the keel curving upwards. On to this sledge the stone is levered, and carefully lashed with canes and creepers, and to this the men, sometimes to the number of several hundreds, attach themselves in a long line, and putting rollers beneath the sledge, they pull it along until it has been brought to the spot where the stone is to be erected. Here a small hole is dug, and the sledge being tilted up on end, the lashings are cut adrift, and the stone slides into position: some leaves are then placed on the top, and some liquor poured on them; this done, a general feast follows, and the ceremony is complete.