The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: funeral lamentations
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: The widow who was still quite a young, slender woman, wailed and hit the earth with a cloth in order to curse it. Her cloak had slipped from the shoulders and revealed her well-shaped breasts. Her hair was wild and dishevelled. All mourners were covered in grey-white cloths and coats. The procession went down the path to a place only about 100 metres away from the village where a grave had been dug. The actual burial took only about a quarter of an hour. Then the widow and most mourners returned and the distribution of the meat was started. Soon their lamentations calmed down and even the widow tidied her hair, calmly watched the meat division and received her own portion. (37) Again and again those present lifted their calabashes and strengthened themselves with rice beer. Whoever had received his piece of meat soon returned to his village. At sundown the externally visible events were finished.