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: Angami graves and tallies for the deeds of the dead
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Angami
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: For the some reason the dead are buried within the village or by the side of the village paths. The graves are often built in the shape of low stone platforms, and these serve men and women coming from the fields as seats and resting-places. On many of these graves there are tallies of the deeds of the departed: large stones to indicate the number of captured heads and smaller stones to represent the women whose favours he enjoyed in this life. On one grave, evidently that of a great favourite of the fair sex, I counted sixty-two small stones, and I could not help wondering how his relatives or indeed he himself remembered the exact number of his loves.