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: ceremonial spears and daos, rules on their use
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York15:8
text: While all the weapons described above were mainly functional and of simple shape, those intended for display on ritual and festive occasions were elaborately ornamented with colorful trimmings. Dao handles were decorated with tufts of goat's hair, usually in alternating bands of red and black. According to established custom, only head-takers were entitled to carry such dao, but at the time of my acquaintance with the Konyaks this rule had been relaxed, and any man or boy who had taken part in the ceremonies following the bringing in of a head was permitted to carry a dao tufted with goat's hair. Ceremonial spears, sometimes with two-pronged heads, bore similar decorations of red and black goat's hair, and men who had taken more than one head were allowed to carry spears whose shafts were covered with fine plaiting woven from cane, stained red, and yellow orchid stems.