The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter One. The Naga Hills
caption: description of crowd of inhabitants of Thenizumi
medium: books
person: ThevoniMills
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Thenizumi
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The next day, arriving at one of those small rest-houses in the middle of the woods that the Nagas like to erect on their paths, we were greeted by a large and noisy crowd. Thenizumi, Thevoni's home village, lay a few miles off the path, and about thirty people had come to welcome Mills. They explained that since one of the dignitaries of the village had died the evening before, the village held a genna, and none of the inhabitants might work on the fields. Apparently this tour brought the people little luck. The village headmen or gaonbura, wrapped in the insignia of their office -- the red cloths of the Government -- came forward to welcome Mills. This was a wisely chosen "uniform," for it blended admirably with indigenous culture, responding to the Naga's preference for coloured cloths. The women wore the large brass ear-rings peculiar to the Eastern Angami Nagas, which are so heavy that the weight must be borne by a band run over the straight black hair. With their friendly mongoloid faces, cheerful expressions, and deep blue cloths the women are often very picturesque. Thevoni's divorced wife was among those who welcomed us with rice-beer. She behaved much more reasonably than many women of more civilized lands; in front of Thevoni and his new wife, she showed not the slightest embarrassment.