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: dancing, washing, drumming
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York97:4
text: The senior male of the head-taker's clan carried the head into the village, and if the hands and feet had been cut off and brought in, the younger men carried these in their decorated hip baskets. Next, in procession the men moved to the open space in front of the chief's house and danced for some time; later, the head-takers went to their morung, where women were waiting with bamboo vessels filled with water. With this the young men "washed off" the blood of their enemies, and this ceremonial purification was performed even by those who had not touched enemy blood. The head was placed in a basket and tied, together with the baskets containing additional trophies, to the great log gong. First the young warriors and then the young women beat the gong in the rhythm which announced the capture of a head. Toward evening the captured head was fastened to one of the main posts of the morung and the warriors danced in the great hall during the night.