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 Longkhai; description of Mauwang, Ang of Longkhai
medium: books
person: Mauwang/ of Longkhai
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Longkhai
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: After a few days I decided to leave Hungphoi, and so we started for Longkhai through the reaped rice fields under a radiant sky. The chief himself waited for us on the top of the hill before his village with one of the gaonbura. Mauwang, the Ang of Longkhai, was the only great Ang in administered territory, and I was very interested to meet him. He was comparatively tall, middle-aged, with the strongest and most impressive personality I have ever met (102) among the Nagas. But he had none of the august dignity of the great Angs of Mon, Chui, and Sheangha. His Assamese was poor, but the expressiveness of his face, worthy of any actor, lent such emphasis to every word, that there was hardly ever any doubt as to what he meant. And he had a wonderful sense of humour -- that quality which so many times delighted me among the Nagas. He could talk with a deadly serious expression, and, suddenly changing his tone, would pull such grimaces that I could not help bursting into laughter. Perhaps it was the consciousness of his rank that encouraged him to make light of everything or perhaps it was the artist in him that induced that particular versatility.