Effegies of the deceased (Image number D.015, J.P. Mills Photographic Collection)

Material Information

Effegies of the deceased (Image number D.015, J.P. Mills Photographic Collection)
Series Title:
J.P. Mills Photographic Collection
Mills, J. P. (James Philip), 1890-1960.
Hobson, Geraldine ( contributor )
Publication Date:
B&W photographic print 9.5x7 cm ( medium )


Subjects / Keywords:
Effigies ( lcsh )
Charnel houses
Sepulchral monuments ( lcsh )
एशिया -- भारत -- नगालैंड -- मेरे जिले
এশিয়া -- ভারত -- নাগাল্যান্ড
Naga (South Asian people) ( lcsh )
Naga ( ethnicity )
Konyak Naga ( ethnicity )
नागा ( ethnicity )
कोन्याक नागा ( ethnicity )
photograph ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- India -- Nagaland -- Mon District -- Ukha
26.4165231 x 94.938957


A group of carved and painted grave effigies, placed in a shelter belonging to the clan, so that the villagers can see them and remember the deceased as they pass by. They are dressed and ornamented as they would have been in life, and with them are various other objects, such as baskets, associated with their lives. The effigies have wooden "horns", between which the skull of the deceased is placed after it is separated from the body. According to J.P. Mills the fertility or 'soul-force' of the deceased is channelled via the wooden figures back into the earth, thus benefiting the village even in death. (It has to be noted that the theory of a 'soul-force' is not an indigenous concept but an anthropolgical interpretation of the time.) ( en )
General Note:
Date of photograph: 1923 April 16
General Note:
Copyright held by the Estate of J.P. Mills. The Estate is currently (2015) represented by Geraldine Hobson.
General Note:
This item may be used under license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial (CC BY-NC)
General Note:
This image is part of Album D. The first part of the album consists of more Konyak photographs from the tour Mills undertook with Hutton in April 1923. (See Albums A and B). The remaining images are from the Chang and Sangtam areas. This album mainly contains photographs taken during a punitive expedition in April 1923 to the Konyak village of Yungya, certain inhabitants of which had carried out a head-hunting raid on Kamahu. J.P. Mills was Assistant Commissioner, Mokokchung at this time. He accompanied J.H. Hutton, Deputy Commissioner, Kohima, who was his superior and therefore wrote the official Tour Diary for the expedition. The military escort ot Gurkhas was commanded by Captain W.B.S. Shakespear. The Konyak tribe lived in the northern part of the Naga Hills. To the west the Konyaks bordered the Assam plains and the Ao Nagas; on the south-east were the Phoms, and on the east the Singphos of Burma. At the time of these photographs much of their country was unadministered and little known and some of the villages visited during this expedition had never before been seen by Europeans.
General Note:
Originally collected in Album D of the "J.P. Mills Photographic Collection". (Held in the SOAS, University of London, Archives and Special Collections.)
General Note:
Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph von, 1909- . The Naked Nagas. London : Methuen & Co., Ltd. [1939]. (LCCN: 40014642)
General Note:
Hutton, John Henry. Tour Diary [manuscript]. 1923 April. (Held by the Pitt Rivers Museum archives, University of Oxford)
General Note:
VIAF ID: 2475026 (name authority) : Mills, J.P. (James Philip), 1890-1960
General Note:
VIAF ID: 24095368 (name authority) : Hobson, Geraldine
General Note:
Ethnologue reference:

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Holding Location:
Archives and Special Collections
Rights Management:
Image: © 1923, The Estate of J.P. Mills. Text: © 1996, Geraldine Hobson.
Resource Identifier:
PP MS 58/02/D/15 ( calm reference )