The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: difficulties of fieldwork ; arrangement of marriage
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 30.4.1937
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: It had been very pleasant to have Kauffmann who is really very nice. Nevertheless I am glad to be on my own again. One cannot concentrate on one's work so well if there are two and again and again one distracts the other. In the event in the morning I finish the inhabitants list of the Balang with Metzou's help. The majority of the houses belong to the Yingyonghu clan and among them there seems to be a particular preference for marriage with the Khoknokhu, Oukheang. It is much more frequent than I had initially assumed that marriages are arranged by the parents. (108) For example, one very pretty grown-up girl of the Yinyong-hu (house 25) is betrothed to the little son of the gaonbura, Chinyang, who is barely more than eleven year's old. The men suffer almost more from this system than the women as while the latter can enjoy their full youth with other men, the man finally has to marry an older, possibly already faded woman and has to keep her, together with her children, most of them from other men. It is not rare that such an engagement or marriage is broken up. Both house 20 and house 34 were named by Metzou as 'Great Houses' of the Yinyonghu clan. The latter is supposed to be the oldest from which the entire clan started.