The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook three

caption: initiation of girls
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 20.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 8.1936-6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Chinyak makes the genna when the boys enter the morung every year. When the boys are about ten they enter the morung. Rich men kill two pigs for their sons, poor men only one chicken. For the girls also a genna is made when they are about ten. After that they put on skirts and are regarded as young girls. (122) At the initiation of a girl first a pig is killed in the father's house, then the girl's elder sisters, and her father's sisters go with the girl to the women's platform near the path to the village, - they take the pigs heads with them and some food. At the platform the head is divided between the girl's sisters and aunts, then a new skirt is given to the girl, and she is said to (123) wear it from now on. Also a hat of leaves is given to her. Then they all return to their houses. This ceremony (Shou-em-bu) is done after harvest. After one year the girl is tattooed. Shou-em-bu is apparently not done at first menstruation but just when the girl is 10.