Mithun tied up for sacrifice

Scope and Content

B&W photographic print. 'Ungma village is a pure Chongli village. The mithun (Bos frontalis) is a very important sacrificial animal among the Nagas. Normally it is allowed to roam free in the jungle, being fed salt occasionally by its owner. The sacrificial animal in the photograph is tied to a post in the village by a collar made of creeper, the loop at the end being slipped round the post. Upon its neck is a basket containing a cock and decorated with two hornbill feathers. Tassels of bamboo fibre hang from its horns, The Mithun sacrifice is the culmination of the series of Feasts of Merit, the completion of which brings honour to a man, and an increase in the collective "aren" (a type of force) of the clan and the village. The sacrificer wins the right for himself and his family to wear certain cloths and ornaments and to decorate his house in a particular way. It is possible to deduce exactly what Feasts of Merit a person has given by looking at his house or his cloths and ornaments.'

Access Information



Ethnic group: Naga

Ethnic group: Ao Naga

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

9.5 x 7 cm

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by J.P. Mills