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: sacrifice, feasting and omens
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York98:1
text: The next day all the men of the village dressed in ceremonial clothes and ornaments and painted their bodies and faces with lime. In solemn procession the head was carried either to two stones standing in front of the chiefs house or to an upright stone newly set up in a ritual place. There, the senior descendant of the village founder, acting as priest '(niengba),' cut off small pieces of the ears and tongue and called again on the kinsmen of the dead man. He took a small chicken and, sprinkling its blood on the stones, repeated the same incantation. Next, he examined the intestines to see whether the omens were propitious for the slaying of more enemies. The carcass of the chicken was left lying on the stone, but the captured head was taken to a tree close to the morung of the captor and hung up there to dry. Throughout the day there was dancing and feasting, and the whole village observed a day of abstention from work on the fields.