Mon is the land of the captivating Konyak Naga. Konyaks are known for their tattooed faces, blackened teeth and head hunting prowess, the last thankfully being in the past. When they appear in the markets to sell their agricultural produce, the Konyaks cut an impressive figure among the uninitiated. The village head, Angh, enjoys considerable power over his people – his house is a reflection of tribal power and glory and flashes both human and animal skulls alike on the porch.
The ‘trans-boundary village’ of Longwa is an interesting sight to behold – it straddles the international boundary of India and Myanmar; one half of the house of the powerful Angh falls within India whereas the other half lies in Myanmar. Although some village youths serve under the Myanmarese army, the village itself is governed by the Angh and the Village Council Chairman. There are both Indian and Myanmarese schools in this village. In the past, the Angh had sixty wives and his jurisdiction extended up to Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh (India).
Ruled by the chief Angh, Shangnyu is a prominent village in Mon. A massive wood carving originally placed at the entrance of the Angh’s house is believed to have been constructed by two brothers with the help of a spirit during the metallic age. This carving is now preserved in a museum facing the Angh’s house. Some stone monoliths are also seen in front of the Angh’s ‘palace’.
Veda, the highest peak in Mon, is approximately 70 km east of the district headquarters. From the top of this peak can be seen a clear view of both the Brahmaputra (India) and the Chindwin (Myanmar) rivers on a clear day. There is also a waterfall in the confines of this peak. Historically, Veda peak was where the British soldiers first set up their camp and also planted the first opium plant in the land of the Konyak Nagas.