The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database
caption: footnotes
text: 13. These are wooden cylinders 2 feet long and 18 inches in diameter, with a deerskin membrane at either end. They are beaten during the ceremonial spearing of wooden images during the winter feast of Hga-ngi, and are used to accompany dances during the winter provided there is no epidemic in the vicinity. The sound of drums is believed to attract spirits and to cause wind and storms and they are never beaten when the crops are in the ground except as an alarm-signal. If they are beaten in day-time with an irregular rhythm, this means the village is in danger from raiders or fire and recalls all villagers to the settlement immediately. The drums are stored high up on the half-ceiling to prevent small boys reaching them and sounding a false alarm.