The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Account of the valley of Munnipore and of the Hill Tribes' by Major W. McCulloch

caption: hairstyle
medium: articles
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: Amongst the men the forepart of the head is shaved. In the remaining part the hair is preserved in its natural state. It is combed backwards, and is sometimes coiled up in the folds of their head dresses, but generally tied up in a knot behind. Married women, and some who are not married, comb their hair back and tie it up behind. Young women do not tie it up behind. In front they comb it straight, cutting it in a circle from ear to ear across the forehead and a little above the eyebrows. Over the ears it is allowed to grow so as to cover them. Here it is again cut the breadth of the ear, and thence in the hinder part is allowed to grow naturally. Perfectly straight hair is considered beautiful; curly locks are laughed at. The water in which rice has been steeped before cooking is used as a wash for the hair. It gives a glossy appearance, but a most disagreeable smell to the hair.