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: Loohoopa tribe - feuding; long spear and shield; hairstyle
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Loohoopa
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: From the Tangkool we pass into the Loohoopa, the fiercest and one of the most numerous of the tribes around Munnipore. As with (67) all the other tribes they have suffered from the dominance of Munnipore, and their villages nearest the valley, from being more exposed to Munnipore interference, have all been deserted, but the villages in the interior are still large, and in consequence of the bold, courageous character of the people not lightly interfered with. The state of active feud which seems to be the one natural to these hill tribes, is amongst the Loohoopas perfectly developed, and free of foreign interference they devote the whole of their energies to the prosecution of their quarrels; when the quarrel is of the bitterest nature, they kill one another wherever and however they can, and in such case the killing of a woman or child is more esteemed than the killing of a man. But where the passions are not so much roused, the belligerents, by mutual agreement, confine themselves to certain fixed bounds, within which if able, they may kill one another. In these their less fierce quarrels, their women and children pass and re-pass to the scene of conflict uninjured. The Loohoopa has an unusually long spear which he uses in a manner he alone can. With this and his shield he is ready for any encounter, and with these weapons he has subjected all the Tangkools though they, in addition to the spear, are armed with the bow and poisoned arrow. Not only is he feared by his congeners, but the people on the Burmese side of the hills as far as the Ningthee tremble at his name, and with reason, for they have suffered much at his hands, and a Burmese detachment of 700 men sent to punish him was cut up to a man. The Loohoopa is of superior stature to the tribes around him. He wears his hair in a peculiar style, shaving it off on either side and leaving a ridge on the top like that of a helmet. His head dress in war is like that of the Tangkools, and when it is donned he looks most ferocious. As ornaments of one of these head dresses I have seen dangling from its sides the tresses of seven slaugtered women.