The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: feast for women who had contributed to Thepong morung building
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 13.2.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 12.2.1937-31.3.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (2) Wakching 13/2/1937
text: Day before yesterday the Thepong men held a big feast for those women who were born in the Thepong and Aukheang and who had married into the Angban, Balang or Bala, and who had contributed to the celebrations for the new morung. Before the new building went up these women had given the Thepong people rice, now they were invited to come into the morung for a feast and dance and in addition received numerous gifts. The women of the Angban and Balang accepted the invitation but those from the Bala did not under the pretence that the invitation had been received too late, that is only that same morning. In fact the real reason for the refusal was probably the well known disagreement between Thepong men and Bala girls.
text: The Angban and Balang women were served with chicken meat, rice and rice-beer and then they danced in the morung with the Thepong men. This is unusual as these women come themselves from the Thepong and Aukheang. They are therefore the sisters of the Thepong men. It was explained to me that for this one day the shyness "showu" (3) which usually exists between men and women of the same morung was lifted. The women are of course all married and most of them are no longer young. Thepong girls are not present. The dance is a circle dance in which men and women dance irregularly aligned. Sometimes two men or two women step into the circle and sing special songs which not everyone knows. (See notebook 9 p. 100). As presents the Thepong men gave a pig each to the women of every morung and all in all eighty chickens. The young men brought these gifts even to the houses of the Bala women who had not come to the feast.