The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Two. Feasts Of Merit
caption: preparing for Feast of Merit; ceremonial dress
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Angami
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The day was a feast day, and no one went to the fields. The men and women sat in front of their houses putting the last touches to their ceremonial costume. The young men's headresses cost them much trouble. Roll upon roll of white cotton must be bound with scarlet ribbons so firmly on to bearskin frames that, forming semicircular structures, they will support the huge fans of hornbill feathers with each feather adjusted individually and so loose that it revolves in the slightest breeze. There were ear ornaments of the glittering wings of the emerald beetle, innumerable necklaces of carneol beads and Tridacna shells, an occasional breast-plate of Job's tears and red goat's hair, and many red and white tassels that would dangle from the belts. lt was the men's day, and the women were content with their plain cloths dyed blue with indigo, with sticking bundles of red goat's hair into their large brass earrings, and squeezing their arms into as many arm-rings as they could lay hands on.