Woodcarving is another work of artistry in the blood of Naga people. It can be explained under three heads namely headhunting, decoration of the
Morungs (man's communal houses) and funerary images erected.
The figures generally carved are mithun head, hornbill, human figure, elephant, tiger etc. These figures have their usual symbolic meaning. The
mithun head represents wealth; the hornbill, valour; the human figure, success in head-hunting; while elephant and tiger denotes physical prowess.
In Konyak area, there are some carvings which have the Khajuraho touch about them; there are exotic motifs showing a dancing couple in an amorous posture. The Konyaks are in fact, the best wood-carvers among the
Nagas. The log-drums or xylophones which are laboriously hollowed out of the trunk of a big tree are excellent example of the
Naga's skill in wood-work.
Though most of the tribes have skills in woodcarving, the Wanchos, Konyaks and
Phom tribes are the finest wood-carvers in this genre. Nowadays,
this craft has been commercialized and these craftsmen have been able to
use their skill to produce income for themselves.