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: hunting; poisoned-arrows
medium: articles
keywords: tigerelephant
person: Stewart/ Lt.
ethnicgroup: KookieKhongjai
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: "The Kookies," says Lt. Stewart, " are great hunters and are passionately fond of the sport, looking upon it, next to war, as the noblest exercise for man. They kill tigers, deer and small game, by means of poisoned arrows. The bow is small one made of bamboo, and very slightly bent, the string being manufactured of bark. The arrow, the head of which has a barbed iron point, is about eighteen inches long, being drawn to the chest and not the ear, and therefore delivered with no great force the destructive effect lying chiefly in the poison. With such an instrument, the great art in hunting lies in stealthily approaching the animal near enough to deliver the arrow with effect, and following it up after being wounded to the spot where it is found lying dead. In this the Kookies excel, being able to prowl about the jungle as noiselessly as tiger cats, and being equal to North American Indians in distinguishing tracks." The elephant falls to the poisoned spear dropped on him from a tree in his path, and I have known them attack him, as Dr. Livingstone describes, his party to have done with common hand-spear, but their original methods of capturing this much coveted animal are being deserted for the more sure and destructive means of fire-arms. The (63) capture of an elephant, tiger, bear, wild hog, or any savage wild beast, is followed by a feast in propitiation of its manes, and the capturer obtains a name.