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: traces of recent abandoning of village
medium: books
person: Matche
ethnicgroup: Kalyo Kengyu
location: Pangsha
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Smoke still rises from the hearth of the houses, and the inhabitants must have dropped everything and run for their lives, for everything is as if they had just left the village to work on the fields. Not so much as a piece of household furniture have they taken with them. Incidentally we notice how poor are the material possessions of the much vaunted Pangsha, the few textiles we find are pieces of a rough stuff woven from bark fibre. Here and there under the bamboo beds ashes still glow, almost dead after their long night's task of keeping the sleeper warm. Matche tells us that according to a peculiar custom girls put glowing ash under their bed as a sign that their lovers may share it with them.