The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: small and poor houses; keeping glowing ashes under lovers bed
medium: diaries
location: Pangsha
date: 26.11.1936
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: (256) One can clearly see that they have only just been deserted as many people did not find the time to take their bags with all sorts of small things. The furnishing is poor. Apart from a small ante-room between outer and inner door where usually some household articles are found, the houses have a single room with a hearth and one or two bedsteads. A door at the back leads onto a small platform only about two feet above ground. In one house we saw a bed with ashes underneath and we found out later that it is a common custom here to keep hot ashes under the bed. If a girl keeps a fire or glowing ashes under her bed it is a sign for her lover that he may sleep with her. If she does not light a fire he may possibly sleep on her bed but under no circumstances may he actually have intercourse with her. I could not discover whether this also applies for married people.