The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook three

caption: funeral ritual and taboos
medium: notes
person: Chinyak
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 18.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 8.1936-6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (103) Wakching 18/8/1936
text: Chinyak (Shayanghu, Aukheang) a young man died
text: = Ta-man (Nokanokphong, Ang-ban).
text: On the path to the fields a monument is erected of bamboo, and the Balang and Angban girls strew jungle leaves on the path.
text: Of Aukheang morung the men don't go to the fields, the women go.
text: Of Thephong morung the men and women go to the fields.
text: Of Balang the men and women go, only the girls don't go.
text: Of Angban the men and women go, the girls don't go.
text: Of Bala men and women go.
text: If a Bala man dies the Thephong girls strew leaves and vice versa.
text: (109) 9.30 Women of the dead man's clan bring small bundles of leaves with cooked rice and vegetables to the dead man's house. This food is then placed into the baskets at the corpse platform.
text: An old woman of the Angban morung enters the house, she doesn't bring rice.
text: The blacksmith, Yamen of Aukheang and Sha-yang-hu, is in the house.
text: 9.50 A very old woman of Aukheang and Shayanghu enters the house.
text: The young men of Aukheang who have built the platform enter. (105) The dead man's wife, his mother, his 3 younger sisters, - his elder sister is married at Tanhai.
text: All people who leave the house, dip a finger into a chunga with water in front of the dead man's house. 10.0 A woman of Aukheang enters. A woman of The-phong but Sha-yang-hu enters. A man of The-phong, Sha-yang-hu, enters. All men who enter bring pan leaves. Also all the personal friends, irrespective of clan and morung (106) will come.
text: Doloba is lord of the dead.
text: Wagtang-ban-ha (dead man's road)
text: Chingtang, Chinglong, Chongwe, Shoha, here begins Yim-bu-lem
text: (dead men's road).
text: (107) Chinyak's corpse was not put to the burial place of his morung but behind his house on his land, because he bought the land for himself and has neither father nor brother nor son to take care of. Later on his clansmen will sell the land and divide the money. Chinyak's bones will be taken to the burial place after three years and a new platform built, his head is disposed on the sixth day after the funeral.
text: Whenever a man dies without having near male relatives the corpse put near his house, (108) even in the middle of the village.
text: Only for young men the girls throw leaves on the path, not for old.
text: My informant, Shankok, said "The girls don't care of old men, because they have a weak penis". For an Aukheang man the Balang and Angban girls strew leaves. If a Thephong man dies the Bala girls strew leaves, and vice versa. If an Angban man dies the Aukheang girls do it.
text: For a girl the other girls of the same morung throw leaves (109) but the boys of Balang come and give her pan leaves.
text: To Chinyak all the men of Aukheang (his morung) gave pan leaves, also the Angban and Balang girls give him pan.
text: Chinyak was ill for a whole year and the seer said that the illness came from Ghawang and Gashi, so many sacrifices were made, finally as one thought Ghawang and Gashi were displeased with his house, he was removed to another house, where he died. This house belonged to a man of his family. (110) When a man is going to die any amount of chicken and pigs is killed, for Chinyak nothing was killed as all his animals had already been sacrificed. Chinyak had 3 younger and 3 elder sisters, 2 of the latter are married in Tanhai, both came with their husbands from Tanhai, one brought a cloth, but none brought a chicken though it is the custom to sacrifice a chicken and place it near the corpse platform. (111) "This chicken, which will be eaten like you by the worms is your helper, - don't look behind on your daughters and sons". [konyak]
text: (112) Chinyak's wife will remain in the house where her husband has died till his head is disposed, then she probably will go to her father's house, till she marries again. Her new husband gives a marriage price to her father, not to the family of her husband. But if she marries her husband's brother he has to pay no marriage price. If she has a son and marries a man of another clan she leaves the son to her husband's family.