The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twelve. Towards Unknown Country
caption: motives of coolies and porters for joining a punitive expedition
medium: books
location: Mokokchung
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The Naga porters were all volunteers, and only a few had joined the expedition for the sake of their wages. Most of them hoped to participate in the fighting, which they were convinced we would meet, and so gain the right to the dress and ornaments of a head-hunter, which they were unable to acquire in administered territory. It seemed a little ironic that they should accompany a British expedition to recapture the glories of the head-hunting days, but I am sure they did not think of such things. They were eager and ready for any kind of scrap, armed with spears, dao, and shields: curious looking warriors, slightly stooping under the weight of their conical carrying-baskets.