The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: the funeral ; gifts for the dead
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 26.7.1936
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: After a while of anxious waiting the clan elder appears. On his head a small fur cap with single upright feather. In his hand he is swinging a dao and he moves quickly almost dancing and emits loud calls. (134) That is how the dead man once returned from the headhunt. Now this is reinacted. Behind the clan elder walks a man who carries a chicken and a carrying basket filled with food wrapped in leaves. These are given to the dead man on the way so that he can give something to his friends when he meets them in the land of the dead. (see notebook 3 p. 187). When a child dies the gifts are sugar cane, other sweet things, bananas and salt and the following is said "give this to a dead mother who you meet on the way and drink from her breast".