The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: 'apotia' deaths and their rituals and those killed in war
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 1.9.1936
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: Apotia is death by drowning or falling off a tree, death in childbirth and sudden death without clear illness. People who die an apotia death are not buried in a wooden coffin but on a sort of stretcher made of bamboo, the same as is used for people who die of leprosy. Only wife and mother mourn an apotia death and no young man or woman enters the house or comes near the burial place. (248) Men killed in war are wrapped up in leaves initially and are carried to the village and are laid down outside the house. The wife or mother of the dead man washes the corpse even if the head is missing and gives him food to take along. Then he is wrapped up in a mat which is tied underneath a single bamboo pole and thus is carried to the burial ground where he is put up on a frame.