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: photographs
caption: Naga chief
medium: articles
person: Dalton/ E.T.Simpson/ Dr
date: 1872
text: (20) PLATE 16.
text: From a Photograph by Dr. SIMPSON.
text: The wild inhabitants of the southern barrier of the Asam Valley, from the Dihing River in Upper Asam to the Kopili in the lower part of the Valley, are all called Nagas; but the Doyang River divides the clans into two groups, and we find little affinity between the tribes on the right and left banks of that stream.
text: The warrior represented in Plate 16 is a chief of one of the clans of the Eastern or Upper Naga Group. In fantastic eccentricity of costume, the Nagas take the lead of all the tribes described in this work. Their love of decoration is only equalled by their antipathy to clothing. They study ornamentation and manage to produce a very picturesque effect. The materials chiefly used are shell, ivory, boar's tusks, beads of agate and other pebbles, goat's-hair dyed scarlet and other colors, brass and glass. Their arms are adorned like their persons. The plate is a good illustration both of the decorative propensity and the physical traits of the people. As usual amongst animals when the male takes great pride in his personal appearance, the female withdraws from the contest, the Naga women appear to care little for dress.
text: See section 6, Group 1.