The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: myths and stories of origin of Nagas
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 4.4.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.4.1937-26.6.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (10) Wakching 4/4/1937
text: As almost all gaonburas visited me this morning I once again approached the difficult topic of migration stories and origin myths. There are two versions about the origin of mankind not only of the Konyak. According to one all people and animals emerged from the great pumpkin 'Maikokwemniu'. Then Ghawang divided the earth among them by saying "You have this piece of land, you that" etc. According to the other version, all beings emerged from the mythical bird 'Yangwem-niu'. Then before he died he gave the gift of language to all humans and animals. Only the 'Ou-shim' dove was not present at his death and therefore did not receive any power of speech. Up to the present day it only goes 'um, um'. Yangwem-niu however did not however hand out the voices on his own accord but so to say in Ghawang's stead.