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: chiefly classes and commoners - difference in appearance of women
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Wanchu
location: Niaunyu (Niaunu)
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1962
text: In many villages there were fewer commoners than members of the three higher classes, and it would therefore be misleading to think of Wanchu society in terms of the domination of a small privileged class over a large toiling population of commoner status. Only the Wangham or great Ang class was numerically limited, and this was due to the fact that the offspring of great Ang males and women of any of the other classes were not recognized as of great Ang status, but were incorporated into the numerically much larger small Ang class.
text: The most striking difference between the three upper classes and the commoners lay in the appearance of their women. Those of the two chiefly classes as well as women of intermediate class wore their hair long, whereas all commoner women, even those married to a paramount chief, had their heads shaved or closely cropped.