The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: customs at birth
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
date: 2.3.1937
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
seealso: notebook 10,p.41notebook 10,p.47ff
text: I could discover some new things about the customs at the birth of a child. For six days the father and all male inhabitants including the little brother sleep and eat in the house of a relative and in addition all tools belonging to a man like weapons and fishing utensils, but also his ornaments and his dancing hats, are removed from the house for this time, otherwise he would no longer have luck fishing and hunting. On the day after the birth the man goes fishing and gives his wife a fish to eat. Before eating this fish she is not allowed to eat any other meat. The fish lives in water and therefore the woman who eats of it will have much milk. Chicken on the other hand which live on dry land (120) and give no milk, she is not supposed to eat for ten months. Some women nurse their children for three or four years. A small feast is held on the third or fourth day after the birth to which the children and the very old men and women from both spouses clans are invited. (See also notebook 10 p. 47 ff.).