The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: history of Dzemang and his family
medium: diaries
person: Dzemang
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 11.3.1937
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: Dzemang said that his father, Pongyong, when he was deposed and furthermore his house was given to the Ang who had come from Chi, had predicted that Ghawang would revenge this injustice. (162) Indeed the Chi Ang had died before him. All his sons of pure Ang blood died and Chinkak, the Ang's son from a Ben wife, lost one eye while clearing the field. Furthermore he is not worth anything and is only a burden to the village. So indeed that Ang's family actually declined much faster than his own.
text: But Dzemang too has not been blessed with much fortune. He did not like his first wife who his father had chosen and the marriage was never consummated. His father had given a spear as a first gift. He had to give two layas as compensation for retreating from the agreement. For his second wife Dzemang paid a high bride price consisting of twelve layas, a large pig, fifteen baskets of husked rice and five baskets of dhan as well as all sorts of things brought in from Assam. However his wife died after five years of marriage as did her only daughter.
text: Now Dzemang has married again. This time an Ang girl from Chintang. As prestations he gave six layas among other things, but his father- in-law thought that this was too much and did not want to accept part of the layas (163) but Dzemang did not want to hear any of it. He said to his father-in-law "Why do you not want to accept the layas? You are supposed to take as much as I give you. That is how it is customary". Finally they agreed that the bride's father would return one of the layas. As a return prestation, Dzemang received a pig which he ate with his clanspeople, but now he wants that his wife finally should come to Wakching and move in with him as she is still living in Chintang. But in his brother's house where he is living there is a scarcity of working women. His brother's wife and her daughter can barely manage all the work themselves as the girl also has to work in her husband's house on some days. Yet it is so bad that last year Dzemang himself had to plant taro, a kind of work which is only done by women.