The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: funeral of Ang's daughter
caption: grave platform
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 17.5.1937
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: After a few minutes Yowang, Wangpo's fifteen year old son, brings a bundle of smouldering wood and puts it under a shelter made of one palm leaf. Then he sticks two red porcupine quills into the cloth for the deceased which is tied to the roof above the coffin. Between morung and corpse platform two other boys implant a bamboo stick which has been split down two thirds of its length. A string is fastened to one open end (159) and when this is pulled and then let free again the bamboo half springs back and makes a clapping sound. The long string reaches all the way to the morung and can be set into action from there. This contraption is to chase away wild animals from the corpse and during the first three nights it is set into motion several times to make the dead feel secure and not afraid of animals.