The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: changes in burial customs towards grave burials
medium: diaries
person: MillsHutton
ethnicgroup: ChangAo
location: Noksan
date: 11.12.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.11.1936-11.2.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: The actual ground burial is a relatively recent custom among the Chang which they possibly have taken over from the Yimsungre. Only fifteen years ago when Mills was in Mokokchung the Chang placed their dead on platforms. A fire was lit underneath and after several weeks the head was moved from the body and was buried or was treated as Hutton describes for Tuensang (see 'Diaries of Two Tours' p. 49). Nowadays for no apparent reason the burial in a grave is becoming more and more common and while according to the old custom the skull is certainly dug up again and must be reburied, even this is often not done. (59) I heard of one man who told his descendants explicitly that his skull was not to be unearthed again.