The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: roof forms and ritual status
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Namsang
date: 20.3.1937
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: Soon I went to the village and first clarified the question of the relationship between roof form and the social status of the house owner. Whoever has celebrated the Moha can cut off the palm leaf fringes which hang over the roof's rim which indeed gives a neater appearance to the house. Now already he can build a roof of the curved Wakching form which is prohibited to people who have not held a Moha. It is thought that whoever violates this custom will soon meet a misfortune. Holding the Moha then gives the right to cover the roof with a double layer of palm leaves. These actually are more effective on a curved roof but the taste of the individual and the nature of the building plot determine the roof form in the end. (208) People repeatedly insisted that the Wakching type of roof is more resistant to storms.