The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: information about agricultural ceremonies and gods
caption: models of coffin inaccurate
medium: diaries
person: AhonChinkakNie-ang
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Shiong
date: 19.8.1936
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: Ahon told me quite a lot about other agricultural gennas. Also about a deity, Sha-ba, but all of this was only briefly hinted at and I have to follow it up another time. As we were pretty tired from all the explaining I started back home at half past two. You cannot work for much more than five hours per day with one informant.
text: (207)But when I thought I could sit in my deck chair at home I was wrong. A whole crowd of people was waiting for me and soon we were in the midst of ethnologic work again. The Ang Chinkak and the gaonbura Nie-ang has come with a rather big model of a coffin which they had carved for me. Now however they had carved four birds heads at both ends. I was not satisfied with that as I knew that the head end is supposed to have one more than the foot end. As the four heads at the foot were not quite symmetrical anyway I told them to cut off one of these and now the coffin represents a real model of a coffin suitable for an ordinary member of the Ang clan. The two artists told me that the manufacturing of a coffin without any immediate need was not prohibited but that it was genna to dye the hornbill heads red prior to a death.