The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: preparations and methods of tattooing
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Hungphoi
date: 14.10.1936
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: On her parents' verandah old and young women of her clan and from the neighbourhood are busying themselves and while some cook rice or taro, others work on their own chores or nurse their children. But in the middle there are several women gathered around a girl stretched out on the floor and one of them is just now working on one knee of the poor victim with a chisel made from the thorn of a kind of rattan. This artist is a woman from the Ang clan who alone knows how to do this. Some richly decorated unmarried girls hold on to the girl who is whimpering and sighing in pain while an old woman, probably the mother, is sitting near her head, stroking and encouraging her. It is curious that even the expression of pain takes on a certain form as prescribed by custom and the moaning increases and decreases in rhythmic cascades