The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: working together of boys and girls in fields
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 10.3.1937
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: (156) Around noon Metlou arrived with two young Bala men. The conversation which developed coincidentally was so interesting for me and apparently so amusing for the three that we kept it going for two and a half hours. I discovered that now during the time of clearing the fields and of planting, boys and girls of different morungs do not form work groups together. Now everyone is working exclusively on the fields of their own morung. As I had seen it yesterday, boys and girls may occasionally work on a field together, but apparently it is not avoided that grown up boys and girls work together, and in any case they eat off separate bowls.
text: It is different after the Oulingbu when the time of weeding starts. Then often two Bala boys will go to a Thepong field with eight or ten Thepong girls, or two Thepong girls accompany several Bala boys to the field of a Bala man. Generous amounts of food are taken for the noon meal, either with smoked pork from the Oulingbu to go with the rice or a chicken. Boys and girls eat from one bowl (157) but the girls eat none of the meat and leave it all to the boys who are in no way unhappy about this. Apparently they are shy of eating meat in front of the boys although in their parents home they always eat it. On the way home the boys do not behave very gentlemanly. Then the girls carry their baskets and as these baskets are bigger their own still fit inside. Supposedly this is done only in fun but after a long day of working it is not pure pleasure for the girls.