The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: dancing when khel burnt down ; women dressing as men at drum dragging
medium: diaries
person: Shankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 2.6.1937
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: Two matters have to be added of which Shankok has recently told me. He remembers how when he was a little boy the entire Thepong khel burnt down including his house. At the time his grandfather had danced around in front of the burning house with spear and dancing hat to show that he was not concerned, and with him an old woman, the mother of the wealthy Yongwe. (203) Everybody then had admired the two old people. Another strange custom is that when a drum is dragged in, for example for the Thepong, all the women who have married into another morung dress up as men and dance in front of those who drag their 'brothers' and try to get them to laugh. The men are supposed to remain dead serious but often the old wives who act like crazy succeed in getting the men to laugh, and when they do so they can demand a fine from the men concerned which as a debt of honour is to be paid immediately.