The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Descriptive Ethnography of Bengal' on Nagas by E.T. Dalton

caption: Section 7. (2) - The Kukis
caption: costume: turbans; use of feathers; daos; javelins; rhinoceros-hide armour; shields; pebble bead necklaces
medium: articles
person: Dalton/ E.T.
date: 1872
text: The national dress of the Kuki appears to be about as light and airy as that of the Naga. They wear a turban, which the more wealthy decorate with the " red downy feathers of the hattee pakee bird, and red ribbons of dyed goat's hair." The rajas for a distinction wear plumes of the long tail feather of the king- crow. The shoulder pouch and dao belts are of leather ornamented with (cowrie) shells in rows. The dao is described as a triangular weapon. Garters of a singular kind are worn, a goat's beard with band cut from the skin of the neck. The only other weapons used are javelins; but they trust chiefly to their daos and defensive armour of rhinoceros hide, a piece of which, suspended from the shoulders, is worn round the body. They also carry shields of buffaloe hide of peculiar shape described as trapezoid, and they use the panji very freely in all warlike operations.
text: The Kukis wear pebble beads, and calling them heirlooms, attach to them an extravagant value. To a stone called toino, which is not described, a value equal to Rs. 3,000 in cash has been ascribed.