The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty. With Pangsha's Enemies
caption: Tuensang village, among Chang Nagas; murdered or seduced women's hair worn by men
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Chang
location: Tuensang
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The last stretch of the journey home leads through the land of the Changs, and we camp for two consecutive nights at their great mother-village Tuensang, from which all the other Chang villages are said to have sprung. It has already been visited by several other expeditions, and we find an ancient man sitting outside one of the houses and peacefully smoking his pipe, who can boast of having captured a sepoy's head many years ago. The sepoy had incautiously left the camp alone to fetch water, and this had been too great a temptation for that peaceful old man. There are bundles of human hair waving from the hats of many of the Tuensang men. It is the hair of the women they have murdered -- or seduced. Failing the hair from a captured head, a man may wear the hair of his mistress, but never of his own wife, as an ornament to his head-dress: successes in war and in love seem to be displayed with equal pride.