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Head hunters
January 4, 2010 2:01 PM   Subscribe

The Naga, from North-East India and Burma, were headhunters.

A wealth of anthropological material previously only available on lasardisc, has been web-ified by Cambridge University and Alan MacFarlane (Lots more goodies there) (previously). The Nagas had an uneasy relation with latterday colonialists, who couldn't appear in favour of headhunting, but who nevertheless saw its important role within Naga society.

A 1970 documentary can be downloaded in full from this page.
posted by stonepharisee (14 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
These headhunters were discussed at the indispensable Microkhan (Khaaaaaaaaaaan!) last week.
posted by shothotbot at 2:06 PM on January 4, 2010


The Nauga is ugly, but his vinyl hide is beautiful.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 2:06 PM on January 4, 2010


Huh. I thought the Naga were corrupted Blood Elves.

Shows what I know.
posted by Pecinpah at 2:13 PM on January 4, 2010 [4 favorites]



Huh. I thought the Naga were corrupted Blood Elves.


Corrupted night elves, idiot.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:27 PM on January 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


A wealth of anthropological material previously only available on lasardisc...

Ooh, an early contender for my favourite sentence of 2010.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:50 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite guild names ever: Naga Please.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:51 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goddam, and I misspelled laserdisc. Or Discovision. Back to the Naga...
posted by stonepharisee at 3:14 PM on January 4, 2010


n00bs.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:18 PM on January 4, 2010


No, it's just funny that it's "anthropological material" on a Laserdisc because 1995 is just sooooo....awww, fuggedaboudit!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:40 PM on January 4, 2010


Thanks so much, stonepharisee. My sister-in-law is actually Naga (my brother lives there with her and the family). Though they've been married 18 years, and I've spent a lot of time around her, I don't know much about the Naga, and certainly nothing from her. One of the things that was difficult for our family to learn was that you don't ask a Naga direct questions. So when they were first engaged and we started in with all the normal questions about her life, her family, her country, etc., they were all ignored or deflected. Took us a while to catch on (slow Americans...). Even now, though unfailingly polite, she doesn't take well to questions about herself. Pretty much everything we know about her and the Naga comes from my brother. Don't ask me how he found out.

My favorite sister-in-law detail: She put herself through school by hiring & managing teams of elephants to work the forest for timber. How cool is that?
posted by rough at 6:53 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


The book mentioned on Microkhan , Now The Hell Will Start by Brendon I. Koerner, is worth checking out. It's an amazing true story of murder, love, and survival in the Naga homeland during the heroic but futile efforts by the CBI forces to create the Ledo Road.

It led me to read a lot more about the CBI, Vinegar Joe, Merrill's Marauders, Wingate's Chindits, and the many other clever, doomed players in WWII's "forgotten theater".
posted by jovi at 8:49 PM on January 4, 2010


The book mentioned on Microkhan , Now The Hell Will Start by Brendon I. Koerner

Microkhan is Brendon Koerner
posted by shothotbot at 8:53 PM on January 4, 2010


This is wonderful stuff. Thanks so much.
posted by ouke at 12:17 AM on January 5, 2010


I'm surprised no one mentioned the previous zomia thread:
http://www.metafilter.com/87448/The-Mystery-of-Zomia
posted by sebastienbailard at 8:39 PM on January 5, 2010


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