The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: head hunting
caption: head-hunters return to the village
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York97:3
text: When a head was brought back to the captor's village, all the men of the village and in particular all the village elders turned out to welcome the head-hunters. The first rites were performed outside the village on a spot not far from the place where the skulls of dead villagers rested in sandstone cists. There, the captured head was put down and the senior men of all the clans involved in the capture smashed raw eggs on the head, intending by magical means to blind the kinsmen of the dead foe. Then, a clan elder poured rice beer into the mouth and said, "May your mother, may your father, may your elder and younger brothers all come, may they drink our beer and eat our rice and meat. May they all come!" These ritual words were intended to compel the deceased to call his relatives so that they too might fall victims to the spears of the victors.