The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: cutting rice very hard work
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 19.9.1936
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: When we arrived we found Dzemang's brother and his wife in the field hut making tea. Although it is genna I was asked to enter and I was offered tea in a chunga. It was less black than usual and tasted quite good. After talking for some time Dzemang's brother asked me whether I too would like to cut some rice and offered me the toothed knife. Of course I couldn't refuse the offer and went into the field with them. On one line with both brothers I soon stood bent over in the sun and cut off one bunch of stalks after the other (53) and put them on a small pile next to me. Now I could appreciate the good design of the knives on the one hand and the difficulty of the labour on the other. Here the rain had also beaten down the stalks and often one had to pick them up from the ground in order the set the knife. Another obstacle is the taro in the field which always has to be avoided. My help could hardly have made much difference as after half an hour I had to go home, already late anyway.