The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: the founding story of Kongan, wanderings and early history
medium: diaries
person: We-an/ of KonganLem-ang/ of KonganYong-wan
location: Borjan Kongan
date: 24.9.1936
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
seealso: notebook 7,p.19
text: Borjan 24/9/1936.
text: In the morning I worked with Mr Castle's Naga chowkidar, a Kongan man called We-an. According to what I have heard from Lem-ang and him the foundation of Kongan is as follows. The Kongan people came from the Assam valley (65) and first went through the country now inhabited by the Ao with which they connect the memory of a village called Molung. From there they turned deeper into the mountains and founded the village Yin-yu-shang which is now deserted and which was in Chang country but not far from the Ao village, Chuchu (Yimlang?). At that time they were constantly at war with the Phom. However with Choha and Yungya they are like brothers. The latter speaks the same language as Kongan.
text: After they had lived for some time in Yin-yu-shang they began to find it strenuous to live in such a high location. Therefore they first went on to Wanching and there they lived for three years, partly in and partly outside the village. At the time they had no Ang. After three years they founded Kongan and people from Wanching helped them with building their houses. The actual village founder was a man from the Laktuhu clan and he built the Khang-kai morung. With him came also the Pem-long-hu clan and a man of this clan called Yong-wan, the ancestor of Lem-ang, built a house on the place where today Lem-ang's house still stands. (Lem-ang even insists that Yong-wan was the actual village founder).
text: (66) In Yong-wan's time a tiger came close to the village and killed many people where today the Lingba morung stands he piled up all their skulls and no one dared to go near this place. Yong-wan, however, who was a were tiger himself knew that this tiger was getting rather old and he showed the people how they could kill it. Then he built the Lingba morung at that place. Supposedly this happened twelve generations ago.
text: Neither the Laktuhu nor the Pem-long-hu clan have a special role in the agricultural rites or in any other ceremonies. Instead the man who builds the first field hut and the first planter both come from the Kong-man-hu clan. This clan was not among those which came from Yin-yu-shang but it came from the Assam plain. As the fields of Kongan already are almost on Assam land these ceremonies are performed by men who come from Assam. Both positions are hereditary (notebook 7 p. 19). The first harvest is done by the oldest woman in each household.