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: Vangam's or headman's house; log-drum; morungs; skulls
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: MutaniaSermamenBorduariaNamsangia
location: Mutan (Bor Mutan)
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: The Vangam's, i.e. headman's house, is always very large, and built on the most level site in the village. It is generally about 200 feet long by 40 or 50 feet broad, and contains two large halls, one at either end, the intervening space being divided up into several apartments and store-rooms arranged on either side of a central passage. Each of the women's apartments has its own door of exit, and small verandah. On one side of the entrance hall is the drum - similar to that of the Hatigorias. Opposite the drum is the rice pounder, a long log squared, with small holes, in which the rice is pounded out from the husks. The other hall is kept as an audience (80) hall, where the chief receives his friends. It has raised and matted floor, the rest of the house being on the bare ground. This hall opens into a large verandah; every house is furnished with a few small stools on short legs, and one or two large beds, which, with their legs and a bolster, are carved out of one log. Tables made of cane work shaped like huge inverted wine glasses, and about two and a half feet high, are used at meal times. In each village are one or two "morangs", in which are kept the skull trophies, placed in rows in a large sloping tray on the verandah. At Bor Mutan there were 210 bleached skulls arranged thus.