This spear was used in ritual occasions and also in combat. The spear consists of a wooden stick with an spearhead of steel. The spear is decorated with red dyed goat hair, coloured with Madder dye (Rubia tinctorium). The red hair symbolises fire, in the figurative sense it means energy and power for head hunting. The insignia of male courage were worn on the body of the naga, hung in visible places or carried by authorised warriors. These included body ornaments such as hip jewellery and hats, headhunter symbols and ornamental weapons. The equipment of every warrior naturally also included his weapons such as spear, hack knife (dao) and shield.

The main offensive weapon of the Naga is the spear, which is hurled at short range with remarkable accuracy. All weapons are only conceivable in combination with the defensive weapon, the shield. Rifles were also used. The Konyak themselves produced gunpowder and allegedly even rifles. However, the performance of these weapons was probably moderate. Most of the time, the raids were carried out in the early morning hours and were initiated by massive spear salvo, and when the alarm was triggered, the resistance was organised. The attack lasted only a few minutes and was characterised by great mobility. The wounded and dead were decapitated with the dao; the heads were taken with them, probably also those of their own fallen.


Object Spear
Culture Naga
Time Late 19th century
Dimensions Length 173,5 cm
Material Steel, wood, goat hair, rattan
Supplementing Literature Back to room view