The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-four. The World Beyond
caption: attitudes to Gods and particularly Ghawang the sky god
medium: books
person: Yongang
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Yet they all agree that he lives somewhere in the sky and that long ago he made the firmament. "Gawang made also the earth and man," Chinyang remarks one day, "but how he made man, we do not know. But we say that we are his children. When we become rich or poor, it comes from Gawang; when we have plenty to eat, it comes from Gawang; when we have fever, it too comes from Gawang."
text: "But tell me, does Gawang live quite alone in the sky? Has he no wife and no children?"
text: "We do not know anything of a wife of Gawang," explains Yongang with a smile "and his children, these are we ourselves!"
text: The Konyaks are firmly convinced that Gawang can see and hear everything. If a man exaggerates or boasts too much, someone may say: "Don't tell such lies, Gawang hears, and will tear your mouth." Generally, this is only a jest, but in cases of serious crime Gawang's punishments are called down on the head of the offender.