The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: Metlou's first marriage negotiations and love and marriage
medium: diaries
person: Metlou
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 19.4.1937
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: (61) Wakching 19/4/1937
text: Kauffmann went to Chingtang today. It had rained heavily during the night and the day too was overcast. I let Metlou tell me in detail the events of his first marriage. (See Notebook 12 p. 103 following). For Metlou's side the intermediary was the head of household of the 'Great House' of his clan, Yoyong. He handed over the bridewealth and played an important role in the ceremony. From the girl's side it was Shouba, her father's younger brother.
text: Towards evening Shankok told me in detail about Metlou's love and marriage life. Once more it is evidence for the prominent promiscuity in Wakching. As a young man Metlou had an affair with Shuidzing, the gaonbura Chinyang's daughter, who has since then died. Her gang worked on the fields together with Metlou's gang but she married Yinyang (Yinyonghu, Balang) as that was her father's wish. Then Metlou married Shuidzing, the daughter of Weikok (Oukheang 39) without having been her lover first. While he was married with her he started an affair with Meniu (Khoknokhu, Thepong). His wife found out about it and there were dreadful scenes (62) between her and Meniu and she threatened to tear apart her ear lobes. Meniu however was married as well to Weiku (Dzennok, Bala) but he was not yet grown up. Prior to her affair with Metlou she was the lover of Shanglo (Lennok, Bala) now the husband of Shankok's younger sister. When she became pregnant by Shanglo and had a daughter she went to Weiku's house to live with him. Weiku who then was about fifteen had a flirt with another young girl but the two had not yet had intercourse. When Meniu's daughter died she returned to the house of her parents. Then she started her affair with Metlou and became pregnant by him.
text: Metlou did not get on well with his wife, Shuidzing. In the first year of their marriage she had given birth to a son, Louming, whose father however was not Metlou, but her former lover. Immediately after the birth she went to Metlou's house but after a few days already she returned to her parents because they needed her to work. This of course annoyed Metlou. Nevertheless he had intercourse with her and she had a daughter by him but she soon died. (63) Finally Metlou annulled the marriage and paid her father, Weikok, two fields, eight layas and a big pig. Now he could have married Meniu who was pregnant by him but as she was already married to Weiku, a man of his own morung, he did not want to do so. Therefore he married Naukhem (Nokanokphong, Angban) but she died soon after the wedding ceremony and even before her knees were tattooed. He had not yet had intercourse with her as this is only done immediately after the wedding if the spouses already had been lovers. Weiku died during the same month and now Metlou could marry Meniu. She gave birth to her child in her parents' house and on the same day she went to Metlou's house where she is now living with him. Apart from these Metlou is supposed to have had numerous other affairs.