The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter Twenty-two. Love and Poetry
caption: a Naga song
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Our girl friends
The red berries of the ben tree
Many berries on the branches.
Porcupine and hedgehog
Come to eat the berries.
From the Dikhu valley, from the far-off land,
Small hornbills come.
Great hornbills come,
We, boys of our morung
We, like the yuki birds,
When we come all fruits are eaten,
Stripped are the branches,
On the naked branches
We cry and weep.
text: Here the red berries are a symbol for the girls, and porcupine and hedgehog, animals difficult to tackle, as well as the hornbills who come from across the Dikhu, a river near Wakching, represent the visitors who have monopolized all the girls of the dormitory; the boys compare themselves to yuki birds, small birds of about the size of a minah, which cannot stand up to the more powerful hornbills.