The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: arrival at Chakhabama village ; a funeral
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Chakhabama
date: 2.6.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-11.7.1936
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Then we rode up the mountain on which the Inspector's bungalow and a few huts stand in the position of the old Chakhabama. Having arrived there we were met with great excitement as the keeper of the bungalow, an Angami from Kohima, had died that same morning after one and a half days of fever. We had a good, warm lunch and slept afterwards. At about 5 the funeral started. From the native huts one heard loud crying and mourning. The piercing, long drawn out screams of the widow filled the air and mingled with the sombre complaints of the friends of the deceased. (36) Next to the house some men were busy dividing a cow. On a wooden pole lying on the ground they chopped up the bloody meat while the mourning cries came from the house. From time to time a shot was sounded to scare away the evil spirits. Some good friends of the deceased, his hokis, were crying bitterly and they again jumped madly into the air to challenge the spirits to fight. Finally the corpse, which was covered in colourful cloths, was carried out on a stretcher and the mourners went ahead or followed behind.