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: treatment of the dead; cairns
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: MutaniaSermamenBorduariaNamsangia
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1881
refnum: given at a meeting of the Anthropological Institute, 1881
text: The dead are wrapped in mats and placed on platforms under small roofs, which are decorated with cloths and streamers, and have at each end a tall figure of wood dressed, painted, and tattooed after the manner of the men of the village, and carrying imitation spears and daos; gourds, baskets, &c., being suspended above. At some villages the tombs are enclosed in small sheds with doors and are regular family vaults. These tombs are all just outside the villages. Cairns of stones are also erected, where the heads of departed villagers, decorated with shells, beads, and bells are collected, earthern jars filled with the smaller bones being arranged beside the skulls. Each head is decorated so as to preserve its individuality.