The Konyak Nagas
The Konyak Nagas, Indian tribes living in the northeast frontier of India are an interesting culture to research. They were considered in the 1930s as a culture still daily living as they did in ancient days yet by 1947 the government of India took effective steps to bring them under its administrative control. The tribes are separated into several villages such as the Sangtam, Chang, Kaylo Kengyu, Angami, Konyak and the Wakching Nagas. The villages differed in language, political structure, and some aspects of material culture. Even though governing officials have interrupted the traditional ways of life of the Naga tribes, there are some things that have not changed. Within the Wakching village their houses, appearance, language, religious beliefs and interpersonal relationships have been carried down from ancient times.
The Wakching village occupied a high point of abroad and uneven ridge in the Naga Hills district. With 249 Houses and a population of about 1300 inhabitants, it was the largest village within a radius of ten miles. Its size and strategic position secured it against the attacks of hostile neighbors. The houses were usually grouped together in a compact block and enclosed with a fence
When all guests had gathered, the groom"tms parents served the bride with rice and rice beer. Commoners wore skirts of darker color, usually blue with no ornaments. After she had eaten, the other guests were offered rice beer and betel, but no solid food. As a rule their prayers had to be brief and simple. Most common were conical hats made of red cane and yellow orchid stalks, crested with red goat"tms hair and topped with a few tail feathers of the great Indian hornbill. Though some cultural anthropologists managed to compile a vocabulary and a large number of texts, their research did not allow them to take part in a serious conversation. In other villages translators and the fluent language of Naga-Assamese, was not helpful and no communication was possible. Finally, the back door lead out to a veranda about fifteen by twenty feet, half of it was covered with a roof and half open to the sky where the drying of washed clothes could hang. They have light to medium brown skin tone and dark brown or black colored eyes. A woman never took off her skirt in the presence of men, not even when bathing or fishing. Benchs were made for working upon and sitting at. The man was busy with the growing and storing of rice and the woman was responsible for the planting, harvesting, and drying of taro. Men"tms belts were made of several coils of cane or of broad strips of bark, with long ends that hung down over the buttocks like a tail. The main aim of raiding another village was to capture heads. During ceremonial occasions the men wear splendid attire depending on their achievements in the field of headhunting.