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: iron chopping knife ( dao ), uses
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York14:8
text: The most important weapon and universal implement was the dao, an iron chopping knife, with a broad blade, about 8 inches long, hafted on a wood or bamboo handle; the cutting edge was outward curved and the back almost straight. Although valued as a formidable weapon, the dao was not only a "head axe" but also a versatile instrument that could be put to many uses in everyday life. It was employed in felling trees, building houses, splitting bamboo, slaughtering cattle and fowls, as well as in haircutting and numerous other domestic tasks. In war the dao was used in hand-to-hand fighting and for the decapitation of an enemy slain in battle.
text: Dao of obsolete type, used neither as weapons nor as implements, but as currency for such ceremonial payments as bride prices, were to be found in the possession of some wealthy men. Such dao had very long blades and were much heavier in the hand than those in current use.