The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: history of Angs of Chi and genealogy
medium: diaries
person: Mewang/ of Chi
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching Chi
date: 12.8.1936
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
seealso: notebook 3, pp.59-62
text: The Ang's name is Mewang. Wang is the equivalent of Ang in the Chi group. The great Ang clan which is called Ang-yong-ba in Wakching is Wanghak in Chi, and the small Ang clan is Wang-ha-ba equivalent to Wakching's Ang-ha-ba. Mewang only came to his position because his two older brothers had died. The oldest, Atu, already had been Ang and co-ruler in his father, Wankau's, time. Atu left two wives from aristocratic clans behind, Liphei from the household of the Ang of Mon, and a second Liphei from the Ang clan of Tang. The latter had a son but he died. His brother A-ching took both widows although he was already married to Likan from the Ang clan of Tang and had a son with her. This son, Alu, cannot be considered for the Ang's succession however because Likan's family is not quite of equal status. The reasons are not altogether clear to me although they belong to the Wang-hak clan of Tang. (181) A-ching then had a second son, Dadzai, with Liphai of Mon and another with Likan called Mai-wang, but this one died as a young man. When Wankau died A-ching became Ang but he ruled for only a short time and when he died his younger brother Mewang, the present Ang, succeeded him. Mewang's first wife was Ngunphei from the Ang clan of Mon but she died childless. When A-ching died he, Mewang, in turn took over the three widows, two of which had already been married to his oldest brother, and he had a son, Likuwang, with Liphai of Mon and a daughter Lem-kan who married the Ang of Tang. Dadzai will be Mewang's successor. Should he die before his own son Wankau is grown up, Mewang's son Likuwang would get to the throne.
text: This expression is to be taken literally as the Ang of Chi has a big stone seat in front of his house on which he sits at festivities and when he speaks justice. Only his brothers and sons of pure Ang descent may sit on this throne. Legal difficulties by the way are not always settled in front of the Ang house but often inside the house itself. (182) In addition to his wives of equal rank the Ang also has twelve women from his own village, at least that is the supposed number. They all come from the Ben clans. It is not only the younger brother who marries the widows of the older, but the older brother does the same to the wives of the younger brother. As the example of the Ang of Chi shows, this way a woman can go through a lot of hands, almost like the biblical wife of the seven brothers. (see notebook 3 p. 59-62 for further information on the position of the Ang).