The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Four. Above the Clouds
caption: front of morung and description of morung carvings
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The men's house or morung appeared, with its open front, like the wide-open mouth of some gigantic whale; numerous carved sticks and boards, dangling from the eaves, sounded softly as the wind hit them one against the other. Powerful posts carried the palm-thatched roof, and gable carvings, painted a faint red and forming the happiest contrast against a delicate blue sky, stretched their arms heavenwards. High up on these carved gables three hornbills perched, as though taking the whole house under the protection of their wings. These sacred birds, with their enormous beaks, formed, with tigers, elephants, snakes, and humans, the main motifs of the manifold carvings on the coloured frieze. Differences of sex were emphasized clearly and not always with great delicacy.