The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook five

caption: gennas, theft and fines, crimes
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 1.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 25.8.1936-5.5.1937
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (27) From the Ou-nie-bu on it is genna to use any carrying baskets except those used for carrying dhan. After the villagers have carried all their own dhan to their granaries, at last they bring the Ang's dhan in. And after that the drumming of drums is allowed again and the above mentioned genna raised. After that the whole village gathers and those men, from whose field houses or granaries dhan was stolen, or from whose houses domestic animals were stolen, announce their (28) grievances and complaints. So the theft cases of the whole year are tried at that time, mostly the owners know who was the thief but has kept silence till this time. If a man doesn't know who has stolen his property nobody troubles much to find out the culprit.
text: The Ang and the Neang-bas and their assistants (who belong to the family of the Neangbas) try the cases.
text: The fines imposed depend on the value of the stolen things, but also on the personal terms between the owner and the thief. If they are (29) on good terms the fine might be slight, if not the owner may demand a heavy fine. Much depends also on the question, whether there was a similar case between the two families, if the father of the thief had stolen from the father of the owner, a very heavy fine may be imposed.
text: If a man is fined one pig, the man from whom he has stolen gets the head and one hind leg, one leg is given to the Neangbas. The rest is divided between the clansmen of the (30) owner and the villagers present at the meeting. If a man gets four layas he gives one away for buying madhu. There is no general meeting on that day however, but these cases are settled in the morungs. These cases are not tried all on one day, but one by one.