The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: punishment of moral offences by gods
medium: diaries
date: 21.2.1937
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: Ghawang's commands also extend into sexual matters. Whoever betrays his wife and secretly sleeps with other women, Ghawang punishes by not giving him a son. Less serious are love affairs among unmarried people where, after all, they are the rule. But the older men reprimand young boys not to sleep around too much in the rice granaries and the jungle now with this girl then with another, "like dogs, like monkeys". They are supposed to choose one woman and stay with her. (43) Unrestrained love affairs also anger Ghawang but as the young people are, this leaves no impression on them, they are like monkeys and only follow their pleasures, but because they cannot reflect properly Ghawang does not punish them much. I was surprised to hear about Ghawang's sanction of adultery considering the extreme laxness of the Wakching people in regard to sexual matters. But here too theory and action are two different matters.