The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: love songs
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 21.5.1937
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
seealso: (See Notebook 14 p. 103 following).
text: Furthermore Shankok told me that the songs which girls and boys of different morungs sing together on the platforms along the way and in the 'yo' are alternate songs which are mainly improvised but follow a certain traditional phrase. The language of the songs is very different from the common spoken language and the people themselves have difficulties explaining single expressions. Wittiness is very important for the alternate songs and a boy who quickly finds the appropriate and 'singable' answer is much admired. The individual songs which of course usually concern love and the relationship between girls and boys often are quite lewd. Shankok dictated two verses of such an alternate song to me which probably are not made up but are traditional.