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: helmets
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: MutaniaSermamenBorduariaNamsangia
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: As we proceed eastwards from the Angamis we find a taste for helmets gradually developing, and it culminates among the tribes now under consideration. The helmet is conical in shape and made of plaited cane, either plain or having patterns of coloured straw worked over it. A large plume of black or red hair passes over the helmet from front to rear, and long horns, carrying large feathers or tufts of hair, spring from the sides. Some helmets are covered with leopard or bear skin. Another headdress is a circular band of coloured cane and straw ornamented with bits of a large shell and a fringe of hog's hair which lies on the forehead. Their ornaments (77) are generally strings of beads pendant from a piece of shell fitted to the ear, and terminating in long tufts of hair which fall over the chest. They have another pretty one made of alternate tufts of red, white, and black hair, radiating from a centre of yellow straw work, which is fixed in the lobe of the ear.