The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-six. Tribesmen Of Tirap
caption: very little difference between these Nagas and Konyaks
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Wanchu
location: Niaunyu (Niaunu)
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1962
text: The inconvenience of a seemingly early beginning of the monsoon only slightly damped the pleasure of being once more among people indistinguishable from the Konyaks in whose villages I had spent such happy times. While I rejoiced in finding familiar scenes, my wife, who knew the Konyaks only from pictures and the accounts of my youthful exploits, was equally delighted to see what seemed to her the objects of my writings having come to life. There was indeed very little difference between the Konyaks of the Thendu group and the people here known as Wanchus. But whereas in 1936 I had moved only along the fringes of the domains of the great Angs, and even men such as Mauwang of Longkhai were small fry compared to the autocratic rulers of villages such as Mon, Chui, and Tang, whose territories had been out of bounds for me, here in Niaunu I came face to face with a chief of as powerful a lineage as any of the great Konyak dynasties. Everything in Niaunu was on a much larger scale than in the Thendu villages within the former Naga Hills district. The house of the chief, above all, was enormous, containing great halls comparable to those of the largest morung, as well as a whole labyrinth of small dark rooms inhabited by the chief's numerous wives and children. In the large room in which the chief received guests stood a carved bench decorated with representations of hornbill heads, and on this "throne" none but the chief was allowed to sit.