The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: ceremony for dead and mourning
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Shiong
date: 10.7.1936
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: While we were sitting on Ahon's platform we saw a group of women and girls go off to the fields. There they pick leaves which are used as headbands and on the way back they spread them on the paths until they come to the house where a woman has died this morning "because the dead woman will never use such leaves again". This ceremony is only performed for women and young men. A container with water, in this case a broken pot, is fastened to the outside wall of the house where the corpse lies. The people who come to visit the mourning survivors dip their fingers into the water when leaving the house in order to clean themselves. After the burial (87) or platform funeral the container is fastened at the other side of the entrance and again the female guests perform the purification.