Day 25 Traditions of the Angami in Nagaland

Thousands of stone stelae can be found in and around the villages of Nagaland. The upright slabs are erected by wealthy villagers as the culmination of feasts which are attended by all the inhabitants of the village. The feasts not infrequently last several weeks.

Stone stelae at Khonoma, Nagaland (Photo: DAI RGK)

As part of field research done by the Romano-Germanic Commission, villages primarily in the Angami tribal area have been visited and the stelae of an extinct culture of feasting have been surveyed and mapped. The archaeological documentation has been accompanied by interviews with historical witnesses.
Today, in many villages of the Angami there are still house fronts decorated with stylized carved heads. Symbolizing the costum of headhunting, the ornaments are supposed to project the power of the occupant and ward off enemies.

Interviews with historical witnesses (Photo: DAI RGK)
House front in Choruba decorated with stylized carved heads (Photo: DAI RGK)