The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: menstrual taboos
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Blood from a woman's genital organs, i.e. blood from a birth, or menstrual discharge - is absolutely unclean to a man and he may on no account whatever touch it. If he did he would be wounded in war. Sometimes a girl who is bothered by an importunate and unwanted lover will let him enjoy her while she is menstruating, a disastrous proceeding for him. Anybody having connection with a menstruating woman, whether married to her or not, renders himself liable to all sorts of disasters, cutting himself with his own dao, being eaten by tigers, speared etc.