The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: pronunciation and relationship terms
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: Remarkable is a sound which is difficult to pronounce. A peculiar way of combining the tongue 'r' with a gutteral. When Chingai pronounces it it is almost a pure 'rrr' which is less objected to by the Punkhung people than my attempt to pronounce it as a tongue 'r'. Among them however the 'r' is clear. The sound is usually used in place of a 'y' or a 'w' in the other languages. While investigating the relationship terms I discovered that in Punkhung too spouses do not address each other by name. First of all they avoid addressing each other at all and once they have children they call each other "father or mother of so and so". Chingai says that he does indeed call his wife by name because she is younger than he is but she addresses him as "father" of his son.