The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-seven. Return to Nagaland
caption: forked posts at Totok for mithan sacrifice
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
location: Totok
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: After I had visited Chui, Shangnyu and Mon, I went to see Totok, traditionally hostile to the neighbouring Chui, and distinguished by several features not found in any of the other villages. It occupies a rocky mountain top, and the houses are built right onto the rock. Indeed one wonders how the wooden posts could be driven into such ground. The village is very large, and the houses stand close together, often separated only by narrow gullies. A peculiarity of the village are the many clusters of forked posts which stand in front of the houses. They are put up on the occasion of sacrifices of mithan and buffaloes, but never of bulls or cows. Not only men of chiefly class, but also rich commoners may give feasts of merit involving the erection of a forked post. In 1970 there were no more mithan in Totok, but they were still being bought from villages lying in the direction of the Chang country. Totok seemed hardly touched by the modern world, the dress of men and women was traditional and the well-kept morung clearly lived-in. In one of these morung there was a peculiar sitting-board. Not only did it end in hornbill heads, but near the end there were excretions carved in the shape of double-faced heads.