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: women's dress; ear decorations; tattoos; smoking
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: HatigoriaDupdoriaAssiringia
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: The women's dress consists of a small petticoat of dark blue, a cloth of the same colour being thrown over the shoulders. They wear large brass rings on each brow, supported by a string passing round the head. Sometimes these rings pass through the upper portion of the ear, but generally they simply hang on the temples. The lobe of the ear supports large thick oval or oblong-shaped pieces of a crystal obtained from the plains. The women all tattoo slightly: fine lines are drawn on the chin, the outer ones being tattooed from the corners of the mouth; the front of the throat has a few crossed lines on it, three arrow-headed lines are tattooed on each breast, running up to the shoulders, and a fine diamond pattern runs down the centre of the stomach. The calf of the leg, from about 3 inches below the knee, is also tattooed with diagonal lines (like cross gathering): they also, like Khasia women, frequently wear cotton gaiters. The wrists are also tattooed with stars and stripes. The women's necklaces, are, as usual, beads or large pieces of shells strung on cotton.
text: Men, women, and children all smoke pipes similar to those described earlier.