The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Eleven. Sacred Chiefs
caption: to Hungphoi village
caption: head-taking
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Hungphoi Chen
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Wangla and Hungphoi both received us well, and I stayed in each of these villages several days. They were full of interest, for even though they lay so close together -- scarcely a few hours' march apart -- there were many differences in the traditions and the customs of the villagers. Nearly every village still has its collection of captured heads stored away on the many shelves of its morung, and once a year, at the Spring Festival, they are fed with rice-beer. In front of one of the morung in Hungphoi I noticed a tall, slender stone. On inquiry, it turned out to be the stone erected by those Hungphoi youths who had "carried" the head of Chen woman to Mon. Such stones can only be set up at the bringing in of a head. The two youthful heroes had evidently played a different role from the one they had admitted in Tanhai, and there can be little doubt that they brought at least a small piece of the head back to Hungphoi.