National Geographic : 1955 Feb
+ Angami Barbers Share a Front-porch Shop With a Family Cow As everywhere else in the world, the Angami home is an index to its owner's wealth. Only a rich man could afford this house with its hand-painted rafters and hand-hewn facade carved in a styl ized buffalo design. To earn the right to build such a house, the owner gave many feasts, treating the entire village to rice beer and meat. Sheets of corrugated tin, replacing old time thatch, roof the house. Unlike the more isolated Rengmas (page 255), these barbers use western style clippers. Their customers rarely ask for a shave, as hair does not flourish on the Naga face. S. Dillon Ripley A Bride-to-Be " Lets Her Hair Grow This Angami's shaggy hair style, remi niscent of the cut made fashionable not long ago by European movie queens, is as indicative of her approaching wedding as an engagement ring. Although par ents may arrange a marriage, they never compel Angami girls to wed. 257 Dorien Leigh, Ltd. Though our deer hunt failed, we had a good opportunity to observe the Manipuris. Faith ful Hindus, the villagers of Moirang were cele brating the autumn festival of Dashahara. We visited a straw-thatched temple one evening to watch the Manipuri dancing, one of the more distinctive styles of folk dancing in India. The male dancers carry long, cigar shaped drums held by slings around their necks. Leaping in chorus and in perfect time, they drum as they dance to intricate rhythms. Girls about 12 or 13 years old danced for us the next day. Theirs was a fragment from Hindu folklore, depicting Krishna, the shep herd god, the spirit of youth, dancing with the maidens, the gopis. The little girls performed charmingly and took their parts very seriously (page 255). Two Weeks' Supplies Make 30 Loads Back in Kohima several days later, we found all in readiness for our trip to Japvo. Our equipment included three tents-one for our selves, one for our two Indian taxidermist as sistants, and one for the bearer and cook obtained for us by the forestry officials of the Assam Government. We also had to take a 2-week supply of canned and dehydrated food, clothes, bedding, shotguns with ammunition, and taxidermy equipment. All of this formed loads for 30 Naga porters. We left the motor road five miles from Kohima and proceeded up a narrow valley terraced with small paddy fields. As we climbed up from field to field, the cultiva tion gradually ended. Then we came to an area where the forest was being freshly burned out and the path was ankle deep in wood ash. Gaunt skeletons of giant trees-bombax, teak, and ironwood-with their branches still shrouded in remnants of vines, showed the height of the old forest. Now the Nagas would plant vegetables on the steep slopes for three or four years until the rains washed out all the topsoil. Then, abandoned, the slope would turn into grassland and weedy scrub like the hills for miles around. A few more yards of climbing and we plunged through a curtain of shrubs and lower trees into the real forest. Once in the woods, we quickly saw why this land had not been cut and burned too. The hillside was as nearly vertical as it was possible to be and grow trees.