The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: burial customs and indications of rank
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 6.8.1936
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: On the other hand I heard some new things about burial customs. The The-phong and Au-kheang people do not place their dead into wooden coffins but tie the corpse between bamboo sticks. The people of the Ang, Balang and Bala morung on the other hand, are treated in the way described on July 26th. The wives of The-phong and Au-kheang men are also put into coffins and they originated from one of the three other morungs. This would lead one to expect that women of the The-phong and Au-kheang morung who marry Ang, Balang or Bala men would be treated according to their own custom and placed between bamboo, however this is not so. (167) Their corpses also are put into coffins. The number of hornbill heads at the end of the coffin indicates the man's rank. Commoners have three and two, men from the Ang clan have five at the head and four at the feet, and when Chinkak the village Ang dies his coffin will have eight bird heads carved at the head and seven near the feet.