The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: the love and marital affairs of Shankok and Shikna
medium: diaries
person: ShankokShikna
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 7.5.1937
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: Wakching 7/5/1937
text: Today was just as tedious as yesterday. Constantly new things are coming in and I barely have time to write them all down and label them. In the evening Shankok came very depressed and with the big news that Shikna has had her baby and has moved into the house of her legal husband. The evening before yesterday he had still been with Shikna but when he came to the platform of the Balang girls last night (139) he heard them say that Shikna would not come tonight as she had borne her child during the night and now is already in her husband's house. Shankok was embarrassed to ask for details and sadly crept away without even hearing whether his child was a boy or a girl. The whole night he spent in the morung, sleepless.
text: During the day he went to his fields with a gang from his morung and he was looking so downcast that all asked him what might be the matter. They had not heard yet of Shikna giving birth. Unfortunately even now Shankok cannot come to any decisive action and is reluctant to pay the large fine he would have to give to his wife's relatives if he divorced her. It is Shankok's father's fault that it is so high as he had solemnly agreed to pay a very high compensation in the case of divorce, that is because he insisted on the marriage although Shongna's father who then was the Bala's gaonbura had doubts because of the great age gap. To my question of what would happen if he would cast of Shongna but refuse to pay the requested compensation (140) Shankok said that in this case Shongna's relatives would plant some of his fields next year and that it would come to a fight if he would try to stop them forcefully.
text: To cheer him up I suggest that he might find himself a new girl to which he responds that a new girl could not be like Shikna, with no other one could he get on as well as with her. She understood all he said and her words easily entered his head. With a new girlfriend it just simply could not be as comfortable to be and talk.