The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

part of original tour diary of Lt. R.G. Woodthorpe 1876

caption: Detailed description of the inhabitants, houses, weapons, ornaments and funeral customs of the Tangsa group of villages
medium: tours
person: Tulloch/ Col
ethnicgroup: HatigoriaGaro
location: Tangsa Wanching (Tablung) Kamahu (Pengsa) Tamlu (Nangta) Kanching (Kansing) Akhoia (Akoya) Chantongia (Santong) Yongyimsen (Lorian)
date: 3.2.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: (17) Tuesday 3rd.
text: (Very fine all day except for one slight shower at 4 p.m. Very strong wind during middle of day. Road steep from river but tolerably good. Height of Tangsa Yantalong 4180/4100 M = 4140. Height of camp 3770/3450 M = 3710. Min. = 48o. Height of mark 4410/4300 m M = 4355.)
text: Sent off constables and dobashis early to find road up from river. We all started about 7.30 and arrived at Tangsa about 10. Saw two women about a mile from the village who evidently did not expect us as they bolted and shortly after a young fellow came down to us to conduct us to the village. Hitched up his cloth in front of the sepoys who seemed simply fascinated at the sight of his nakedness, especially the native doctor. I left the Colonel and coolies on the Tablung side of the village and taking 4 coolies and 11 sepoys and 3 constables went off for the mark between Tangsa and Pengsa. The villagers evidently thought our return boded no good to them as the women we had seen at first were now invisible, and we saw several men making off with various jhapar of Lares and Penates. We of course went straight on to the hill. I sent the men up to clear it and went on a little way. Saw some women with loads some of whom we persuaded to pass us, others ran away throwing down their loads as did also three men who ran shouting towards Pengsa. I went back to the hill about 1.30 and did some plane tabling there though the wind was so high that I was sometimes unable to guide the pencil. While there large crowds of Nagas were seen gathered in the road from Pengsa in war attire. I made enquiries as to all the coolies being present, but a constable was absent and I was told he had remained below. As some of the Nagas were coming down below the hill by twos and threes I sent five men to look after the constable. They shortly returned with him, saying they had seen the Nagas who had been met at the same time by a man from Tangsa who explained who we were and that the mark was nothing bad, and we saw them all going back to their villages. The (18) mark was up by about 4 and we came back. The Colonel had got a camping place near the village on the Tablung road. Did little P.T. work and came down about 6.
text: These men are naked and say that they hold three villages, Nangta, Tangsa and Pengsa. They are friendly with Tablung and Kansing but at war with the villages we have just left. They wear their hair as shown in the margin
text: The cloths are blue or white, in the latter case five lines of black broken with small diamonds or triangles of red ornament them. The womens' waist cloths are also white, worked with slight red patterns.
text: The houses differ slightly from the Hatigorias etc.
text: The dead are apparently tightly tied up in matting and resting in a long cradle of wood the ends projecting and carved, are placed (19) among the branches of a big tree outside the village entrance.
text: The spears and daos are similar to those used further East, the former short in the haft and profusely ornamented with hair in many instances, and the daos having long handles. Some spears are very like those I saw of the Akoya men ornamented at the bottom of the otherwise plain haft by small rings of slightly carved bamboo.
text: The men we saw today are certainly many of them rather fine specimens of Nagas and the women cleaner, fairer and better looking than those we have lately seen. Some of the Hatigorias whom we saw last year run them very close in the matter of looks. Brass rings are not worn in the upper part of the ear here. The womens' legs are tattooed below the knee