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: unflattering description of Rengmahs, Sehmahs and Lhotas; goitres; hair-style
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: RengmahSehmahLhota
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: The tribes commonly known as Rengmahs, Sehmahs, Lhotas &c., immediately adjoining the Angamis, all present the same type. They are shorter than the Angamis, and of square though fairly powerful build; their eyes are small and oblique, faces flat with high cheek-bones, a dirty sallow complexion, a sullen and often repulsive cast of countenance; all this added to their evident distrust of all strangers ( so different from the Angamis), combine to make them a very unprepossessing race, and they are often further disfigured by frightful goitres, from which they suffer greatly. These tribes generally wear their hair either shaved off or cut very short, except for a large basin-shaped patch on the crown, where it is kept about 2 or 3 inches long, and combed down all round. Hair-cutting is done in a very primitive manner, the implement used being a dao and a small block of wood. This block is pressed down close on the head underneath the hair, which is then chopped off as close as may be, and it is wonderful how close it can be cropped in this way. In some instances which came under our notice a common field hoe was the cutting tool. Their combs are rather neatly made of bamboo.