The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: terms of address of young people
medium: diaries
person: Shankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 12.3.1937
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
seealso: notebook 9,p.160
text: (168) Wakching 12/3/1937
text: In the morning Shankok came who has a small leg injury and therefore was not working in the fields for the day. Soon we were in the middle of a conversation which once again taught me some new things. Among others I learnt that girls of the same age and morung call each other "O-shim", of different morungs "O-ning". Boys and girls of the same morung call each other by kinship terms, (the younger to the older), and by name (the older to the younger). If a boy and girl are born the same month the girl calls him "Uchei", as it is assumed that the boy is the one who is bigger and deserved more respect. If the girl however is a month older, the boy addresses her as "Naria".
text: For twins the form of address is determined by the order of birth. Boys address all girls who are marriageable for them and who are approximately of the same age with the name of their girls' morung. Thus the Bala girls, for example, are "A leu-nok-yo" although the A leu-nok-yo does not even exist at the moment. (See notebook 9 p. 159). (169) Boys and girls as well as men and women from other villages call each other "A-mai" as long as they are not related. (Compare for this notebook 9 p. 160).