The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: prying of children, difficulties of fieldwork
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Hungphoi
date: 25.2.1937
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: After much tooing and froing we finally agree that I will indeed give them their piece of the head now but that they will not bring it to Oting but will hang it up on a tree in the jungle between Wangla and Oting and will carry it into the village only on the day of my arrival. This is after the young men who have come under the leadership of the Ang's son and Chingai have solemnly and firmly promised not to do it any other way. Hungphoi is probably the noisiest village I have ever seen and all day long crowds of children hang around my hut who as I come near them burst apart screaming. Already the seven to eight year olds are carrying their little siblings on their backs, who continue to sleep peacefully through all the screaming. I would not mind so much if these children were satisfied with screaming and shouting, but unfortunately their curiosity (85) drives them to sneaking around my hut and to peaking through the slits of the plaited walls. The whispering with which they comment on all the strange actions of the white man, whether it is that I write, eat or take a bath, could eventually even enrage a saint. As naughty as they are behind the protective wall, as shy they are once I come near them and point my camera at them.