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: love songs and lyric poems and their context; romantic love
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The violence of emotions aroused by the unlawful appropriation of a dance song is proof of the enormous importance which the Konyak attaches to his songs, both those that are traditional and those newly composed. As in the lyric poems sung in the intimacy of the girls' dormitory or on the sitting platforms on a moonlight night when the Konyak pours forth all the joys and longings of his heart, so his pride in his morung and the heroic feats of his ancestors, and the vital feeling of solidarity between all the members of his morung the only "patriotic" sentiment the Konyak knows -- find expression in the dance songs which are claimed as the property of individual groups. Love songs and lyric poems, though sometimes also composed and favoured in one particular morung, are the common property of all Konyak youth, and it is these songs which fill the happiest hours of every boy and girl through the years of gay comradeship and romantic love affairs.