The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: ceremonial at rebuilding
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
text: Chingai has built his house new this winter. It now is bigger than it was before and inside everything is in exemplary order and cleanliness. The rebuilding took four days and Chingai killed two mithans, one large bull and a small cow. Their skulls are now placed onto a small ledge in front of the house. Ang men may sacrifice mithan for rebuilding a house, Ben people may not do so. Also owning gongs is genna for Ben people, Chingai owns several. (122) I am especially impressed in Chingai's house how all tools and equipment has its place on the wall and how nothing is lying around. This probably is necessary in the total darkness of the inner rooms, both the room with the hearth and the sleeping quarter, as otherwise it would be impossible ever to find anything. But not all Naga houses are so spick and span. The tools and household articles of course are not too numerous although Chingai owns many things which he had bought in the bazaar or in Mokokchung. Of the household articles I only note in particular two plaited bowls used for serving food. They have such a tall stand that they almost seem like cane seats. There are small bowls of [] for guests who often may not eat from the same bowl as the people of the house.