The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: painting bark belt, hair-cutting, getting ready for feast
medium: diaries
person: Shankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 19.1.1937
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: In the afternoon the picture had not changed much. Still many people were sitting around drinking madhu while others tried to further decorate and beautify themselves. Shankok was painting a bark belt and cut his hair with a pair of scissors. During his most recent visit to the plains he had bought himself a dreadful blue coat which probably used to adorn a girl, but during the great coldness of these weeks I understand that he wants to wear something warm. He seems to have recovered in general from this morning's malaise as I watch him eat a whole big bowl of rice with accompaniments and finish the last crumb. Today is spent eating and drinking. People are visiting each other and the poorest of the village is enjoying the feast as much as the most well off. A man who slaughters an animal gets hardly anything of it himself, all is given away and divided and it is the honourable obligation of the well-to-do to prepare huge quantities of food and open their house to the less wealthy.