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: cross-bows for hunting, guns
medium: books
ethnicgroup: KonyakWanchu
date: 1962
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York15:5
text: Hunting birds and monkeys with crossbow and arrow was a favorite pastime of both boys and young men. The crossbow was a potentially powerful weapon, with a stave fashioned from bamboo and a stock made of wood. The string was twisted cane fibre and the arrows were bamboo spikes, feathered with finely cut bamboo spathes. The degree of accuracy obtained by Konyaks when hunting small game was not very great, but in the days of raiding, when cross-bowmen played a vital part in defending their village, skillful marksmanship was probably of greater importance. Already in 1936 some muzzle-loading guns were owned by Konyaks, and the increasing use of firearms naturally led to a decline in the art of archery. Yet, even in 1962 there were still crossbows in the hands of the Wanchus of Tirap.