The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Eighteen. A Skirmish with Head-Hunters
caption: more head-hunting trophies in village
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Kalyo Kengyu
location: Pangsha
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: We enter the village, and one glance tells us that it has been (146) abandoned. The people must have taken to their heels without so much as a thought for anything but their personal safety. Before the village stands a huge log drum and, near by, an erythrina tree, where the trophies of Pangsha's victories hang. I am quite accustomed by now to the sight of human heads with skin and hair, more or less decomposed, but the sight of the not quite disintegrated leg of a child about three years old that hangs among the other trophies, fills me with disgust and fierce indignation. When we found the decorated trophies in Yimpang, and even the bundles of recently captured heads in the main village of Pangsha, I was filled with curiosity and a certain detached excitement, but this small child's foot is somehow another matter. Each one of us sees the foot, but no word passes; we may revenge this child, but the hope of liberating that other small girl still in Pangsha's grip is very remote.