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 physique; tattoos
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: MutaniaSermamenBorduariaNamsangia
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: The women of these Eastern tribes are short in stature, and their figures are rather remarkable for strength than beauty. The shoulders are tattooed with diamond patterns, three horizontal lines are taken across the body above the breasts, between which eight lines go down to the waist narrowing gradually to a point: the navel is the centre of a Maltese cross, each arm about five inches long consists of three lines with a pointed finial. The leg tattoo is drawn with an admirable sense of fitness, that on the thighs consisting of close (78) vertical lines and on the calves of horizontal lines, a small break occurring in each on the shin bone: this has the effect of increasing the apparent rotundity of the legs below the knees.