The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: heavy rain ; clans and Great Houses ; Metlou's plans
medium: diaries
person: Metlou
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 29.5.1937
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: (191) Wakching 29/5/1937
text: Now the rains have started in all seriousness. Heavy downpours alternated with thick fog and I hardly left the bungalow. In the morning I worked with Metlou and took down the 'Great Houses' and the dependencies of the Bala houses. It turned out that there are two sub-clans within the Leunok clan each of which has a 'Great House'. They are Leutok and Leuphang, Upper and Lower Leunok. Furthermore I found out that Api (no. 24), a Chi man who had come to Wakching with the Ang Longme as Ben-ba, used to live in the Thepong at first in number 36 and even today gives parts of his sacrificial animals to that house. Metlou has bought the ground of house 2 for 10rs. as its owner is moving into house 3, the owner of which has died. Next year Metlou will pull down house 2, will leave the place empty for one year and only then he will build his house on it. He said that then his brother will undertake a division of the family wealth and will give him fields and jungle as his own property. He then can do as he wishes (192) with these, can pass them on as inheritance or sell them. Only if he want to plant on land which remained to his brother he has to pay him a small interest. This contradicts everything I have heard so far about property ownership and inheritance rules, and when I told Yongang about it in the afternoon he immediately denied its accuracy and said that it was impossible that Metlou's brother would give him land as permanent property.