The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: relations of Great Houses to each other
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 19.5.1937
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: With Metlou's help I then took down the 'Great Houses' of the Balang. This is easiest to work out by noting for each household to which other house they give parts of their slaughtered pigs and cattle. The general rule is that every household sends portions to the house from which it originated, that is the closest link. A younger brother if he has built his own house gives parts to the older brother, and the son to the father. The chain only ends at the 'Great House', the inhabitants of which have no obligation to pass on portions of slaughtered animals. Instead they help the others if necessary pay fines for them and lease fields for planting to them for a very low rent. When the 'Great House' in turn is in trouble all the smaller houses get together and might occasionally pay a fine for them as well.