The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Six. Death in the Rain
caption: death-rhythm of the drums at frequent deaths
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: I was often wakened during the night by the sinister sound of the great log-drums, as the young men announced each death to the neighbours. When I heard the hollow thudding for the first time, I rushed out into the open, regardless of the rain, which soaked me in a few seconds. I could not imagine where the noise came from, nor had I the slightest idea what it could mean. The strange death-rhythm begins with several powerful strokes, and, gradually quickening, dies away in a low rumble.