The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: the Ouliengbu or spring festival
caption: a brilliant morning, putting on ornaments
caption: an outbreak of fighting between morungs
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 25.4.1937
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: Then suddenly a woman arrives and calls something to the man sitting next to me, whereupon he jumps up and quickly runs off into the direction of Angban and Oukheang. At first I think that the ceremony in front of the Ang house has started already and I am running with them, but nothing is going on at the Ang's house and all are running to the Oukheang. I have not reached it yet when a screaming and fighting group is coming towards me. Quickly I step onto the slope above the walk and now can see what is happening. (93) Most young men are without their headdress and are carrying bamboo clubs. They are hitting each other with them and then again entangle themselves into balls, pulling each other this way and that. Soon I see Shankok in the middle of the crowd, then again Metlou and Dzemang. Apparently they are driving some young men towards the Angban. When I finally reach the open area in front of the Oukheang it is still filled with an excited crowd but the fighting has stopped.
text: I soon hear that a big fight had broken out between Oukheang and Angban concerning a dance which the latter was performing when the Oukheang forcibly interrupted them as it is supposedly only appropriate to the Oukheang. Last year already this had caused a fight I hear. The disagreement had already taken on threatening proportions when the Thepong arrived to help and separated the fighting men. All of a sudden everyone is very sober. The sun has set already and now each morung is to go to the Ang house and the young men throw rapidly made bamboo spears against the tree near the stones set up for enemy heads. (94) Because of the fight however, the ceremony is kept as brief as possible and while in other years the boys would perform mock battles, it is considered too dangerous this year.