The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: omens concerning clearing fields
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Longkhai
date: 11.4.1937
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: There is a great difference between Wakching and Longkhai in the manner in which next year's clearing is decided. While in Wakching the Ang and Niengbas do perform an augury to predict the fertility of the new clearings but are not affected by the auguries result and clear the land intended anyway, in Longkhai the omen is taken much more seriously. After a piece of land has been chosen the Benba and the Yemba (Ouba) (see Notebook 8 p. 168 & 183) perform an egg augury. If the omen is lucky the clearing is started but if it is unlucky another piece of land is planted. Chinyang's comment is that Wakching is a large village and is not afraid of unfortunate omens.