The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : 'Konyak Nagas' by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, (1969)

caption: Chapter One. The Material Background
caption: women's skirts, colour and length, Thendu villages
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York12:5
text: Different customs and fashions prevailed in Thendu villages. Here, an immature girl wore only a string round the waist and sometimes she would even dispense with the string. Occasionally, girls with developed breasts and pubic hair could be seen walking nude in the village, but adult women put on a narrow skirt, usually not more than 6 inches wide. This skirt just covered the private parts, but women felt no embarrassment if menstrual blood appeared on their thighs. For everyday use women of all classes wore the same type of horizontally striped skirts. The skirts worn on ceremonial occasions, however, varied according to a woman's social status. A girl or woman of pure chiefly blood had the right to wear a red and white striped skirt decorated with embroidery, glass beads, and tassels of dyed goat's hair. Women of minor chiefly clan were entitled to similar skirts, but to no decorative tassels. Commoners, however, wore skirts of a darker color, usually blue, and these lacked any kind of ornamentation. All these skirts were woven of cotton, and patterns varied slightly from village to village.