The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: cutting and threshing of rice
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 13.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-11.7.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Soon we came to a field where people were just harvesting. An older woman and several girls were cutting off the stalks with finely toothed knives about two hand widths above the ground. The girls then carried the bundles up the sloping fields to the field hut. There they threw it on a pile from which a young man and a tall boy each were taking several armfuls at a time and were stamping them with their feet until the grains had fallen out. While doing so they were holding on to a rope hanging from the roof of the house while the rice grains remain on the mat covering the floor. They tossed the empty husks through the open back wall of the field hut where it is going to form a huge pile. It is not possible to achieve a complete threshing of the rice stalks this way of course as a few grains always remain on the straw which is tossed out. This will later (when?) be spread across the entire field and will be burnt.