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: lack of tattooing; women's hair-style; women's dress; house decoration
medium: notes
location: Yangnyu R. (Yangmun R.)
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: There is very little, frequently no tattooing among these men till they approach the naked Nagas and adjoining tribes, when a little tattooing on the face and limbs is observable. The women in the Yangmun valley have a very peculiar mode of cutting their hair: it is kept so closely cut as only to leave a dark shade on the head: a narrow space on each side of the head being shaved perfectly clean from the temple to the crown. They wear very little clothing, a small belt of very fine leather thongs, to which in front are attached the upper corners of a long, narrow slip of cloth about 30 inches long and 6 inches broad; from this point it falls perfectly free and loosely round the loins and buttocks. (75) Very quaint designs are carved in slight relief on the planks forming the front walls and doors of the houses, the designs being further brought out by a judicious use of black, brownish red, yellow, and white pigments. The dead are placed on a "maichan" raised about 4 feet from the ground, and covered with a low roof which gradually tapers out in front for about 20 or 30 feet.