The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: young people singing and dancing
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Longkhai
date: 24.2.1937
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: The evocation of the deity is completed and soon the young people continue singing and dancing. But first they have to eat so everyone rushes home to the hearth to take part in a generous meal after the day's efforts. But it does not take long until the songs of the girls are sounding from the Ang house. (77)
text: They now dance in the long colonaded hall alongside the living quarters and only a small fire throws a red flickering light over the naked, jewellery covered figures. Dance and songs are the same as before. Several older women and some children are watching the dance but the boys have not yet shown up. A bit later they too arrive and form two groups in the same room like the girls. They are dancing quietly and sedately without touching each other with their daos in their hands, much like on the first evening. During the dance the young men and girls take no notice of each other as it appears on the surface. It is so dark in the hall that one can hardly see the dancers, much less whether perhaps boys and girls are getting together somewhere.
text: When I throw another glance into the hall around midnight I notice at least that now only the younger girls with lead earrings and very young boys are still dancing. I could not discover what the older ones were doing but they certainly had not gone home. The full moon was in an almost cloudless sky (78) and the small leaves at the tip of the bamboo pole in front of the Ang's house were shining silvery in its light. The palm-leaf covered roofs also sparkle lightly and as now a group of youths is coming out of the house and dances in front of the euphorbia tree with the Pangsha head the romantic image leaves nothing to be desired. Now and then one hears laughter and noises just as we know it from the end of a celebration and a short silence only occurs when the cocks start to crow.