The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-one. Head-Hunting Rites
caption: Shankok's rich ornaments worn for head dance
medium: books
person: Shankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Shankok stands out from all the other young men of the village. There is none who can compare with the richness of the ornaments he has inherited from the old Shouba. Since the death of his father they have lain useless in the great store-baskets, for until now Shankok had been without the right to the head-hunter's dress. But today he revels in all his long-cherished glory. Six boars' tusks hang round his neck, shell discs cover his ears, and a fortune of yellow stone necklaces, the so-called "spirit money," hangs on his chest. His hat is covered with boars' tusks and with the most beautiful of hornbill feathers.