The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook six

caption: taboos for childbirth; ear piercing
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 21.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.8.1936-26.10.1936
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (139) 21/9/1936
text: Informants: Shankok & Me-dzou
text: After the birth of a child (son or daughter) the house is six days genna for strangers (of another village). But for people who come across big rivers it is genna for one month. The day after the child is born a genna is made by the oldest man of the clan. He kills one or two chickens (according to the wealth of the parents). No words are spoken when killing it. The chicken is eaten with some rice by the old men and all the (140) boys of the clan (for a son) and all the girls (for a daughter), who come to eat it in the house. The father of the child and the children who have eaten the chicken take one of its bones to a tree near the road where they fasten it, "for Ghawang". It is tied to the tree very well with bamboo so that the rats and birds cannot eat it. On the same day an old woman of the clan pierces the ear-lobes of the child with the long thorn of a tree, which has sour, lemon-like, fruits. Much later, when the child is about ten, the upper part of (141) the ears are pierced too, also with the thorn. This is also done by the old woman, who also cuts the hair of the boy or girl, but not at any special time. She is given two chungas of chaul for her trouble - "sheang kap".