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: language; physique; dress; weapons
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: HatigoriaDupdoriaAssiringia
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: (67) Passing along the hills in a north-easterly direction from the tribes just described, we come next to those known by the Assamese names of Hatigorias, Dupdorias, and Assiringias [Phom immigrants into Ao territory]. The principal differences between these three are linguistic, and although all are superior to the Lhotas in physique, manner, bearing, and in the general wel-to-do appearance of their villages, yet the Hatigorias bear off the palm in all these characteristics. Both men and women are, next to the Angamis, the best built, and most pleasing, perhaps, of the Naga tribes, with the exception of the inhabitants of the Yangmun valley. The Hatigoria women are remarkable for their good looks, many retaining them even in middle age. The dress of the three tribes is the same, consisting, for the males, of the small loin cloth, tied at the back, one end being brought round between the legs, and drawn up under the waistbelt, falls in front in a broad flap. These cloths are of various colours and patterns, and the Dupdorias fix small strips of brass in clusters down the edges of the flap, to give additional weight. The apron already described is also worn in full dress. The general decorations are the same as for the Rengmahs, &c. viz., the bearskin coronet (common also to the Angamis), cotton-wool bindings for the hair, and puffs for the ears, necklaces, &c. One ornament is peculiar to them, a defensive ornament for the chest. It is a long flat strip of wood about 15 inches long, narrow in the middle, but broadening towards the ends, and covered with coloured cane-work, cowries or white seeds, and adorned with a fringe of long red hair. It is worn on the chest suspended by a string round the neck. Two broad red and blue sashes also fringed with hair support at the back the dao, and a small bucket for carrying panjis. The spear are similar to those already described. The daos are similar to those of the Angamis, but among the Assiringias is found an approach to the long hair-tufted handles and broad blades common among the more eastern tribes. The shields are small, and either of cane-work or of thin pieces of wood or hide painted black with white circles and spots on the front, and occasionally decorated with plumes. The Assiringias wear, in war-dress, tall conical helmets, adorned with boars' tusks, and two straight plumes of hair, one on each side, leaving the apex of the helmet bare. The clothes of these three tribes are (68) many coloured, dark blue, with red and white stripes, or dark blue only, or red only, &c., and are frequently adorned with tufts of crimson and white hair sewn in rows at intervals along the stripes of the cloth.