The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: head hunting rituals
caption: dancing
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Punkhung
date: 6.3.1937
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: Long-dza and Nekhong form a circle on the open space in front of the Ang's house. In this circle the younger men, youth and small boys stand on the outside forming a large circle. A group of ten older men dances inside the circle facing the young men, who in turn have their backs to the outside and dance. The dance at which the dancers do not touch each other consists mostly of a rhythmic pushing of the daos to the front with one side of the blade upwards and at the approximate height of the belt. In this manner the older men (143) and the grown-up boys stretch their daos towards each other but always are dancing so far apart that these never touch
text: During one verse of the song the dancers only are moving in place. At its end they lift up the daos and dance a few steps anti-clockwise while the little boys start off a deafening scream. This is repeated numerous times and the dancers neither tire nor do they change the dance. In its circular form the dance is closest to the one at Wakching. It is radically different from the dances of Hungphoi where the dancers stand together in compact groups. Also there is now dancing and mock fighting of individual men.
text: Towards the end an older man stands up to chant and calmly he walks up and down within the circle with a staff in his hand while the younger men and boys go round the circle while repeatedly changing direction. Finally the circle dissolves and the separate groups move to their morungs dancing and singing.