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: cane armlets; broad brass belts; cowrie bracelets
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: MutaniaSermamenBorduariaNamsangia
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: From the shoulders to the elbows the men encase their arms in many rings of red and yellow cane, very large at the shoulder, gradually decreasing towards the elbow: these give an appearance of great breadth to their shoulders, an effect which is heightened by the bands of black or yellow cane which are drawn tightly round the waist. These canes are of great length: one man had as many as 19 turns round his waist giving a total length of cane over 40 feet. Large belts, very broad at the back, fastening in front, and made of plates of polished brass or of coloured cane and cowries are also worn. A broad piece of blue cloth hangs from the waist ornamented with red fringes and rows of white seeds. On the wrists are worn deep bracelets of cowries, and below the knee strings of the same are also tied. All these decorations, as I have before remarked, are intended to be defensive as well as ornamental.