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: weapons: daos, spears
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: MutaniaSermamenBorduariaNamsangia
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: The arms are, as usual, the dao, spear and crossbow. The first is a most formidable weapon, the blade triangular, about 8 inches long, straight at the back, and 4 inches wide at the top, narrowing gradually towards the handle, which is 2 feet long and ornamented with tufts of coloured hair; sometimes there is a semicircular projection at the back of the blade. The spears are not such handsome or formidable weapons as those further west, due probably to the fact that the dao, and not the spear, is here the principal weapon of offence. The spear heads are small, and the shaft, though short and slender, is strongly made of bamboo and decorated with red and black hair in various fashions. The shield is small, about 4 feet long by 2 feet wide, made of buffalo hide decorated along the upper edge with a fringe of red hair, and on the face with some tassels of grass. Every man carries in a small basket or horn at his back a supply of panjies. Some wear a kind of defensive armour in the shape of a leathern corset, which overlaps on the chest, and is kept up by means of straps which pass over the shoulders.