The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook eight

caption: childbirth taboos and medicines
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Hungphoi
date: 13.10.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 4.10.1936-23.2.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: When a woman gives birth to a child the husband goes to stay for some days (about 5) with some relative and doesn't eat in his own house. When the child is born all the married women of the village assemble in the house to eat there. Every household contributes to this feast by giving one "chunga" of "chaul". (117) The next day a skilful woman pierces the ear lobes of the child. The household is six days genna (for a son or a daughter equally). No stranger may enter it and the husband is not allowed to go to another village. The woman remains six days in the house, then goes a little outside. As soon as she is well enough she may go to the fields. If delivery is difficult the husband cuts the bamboo strips with which the blade of his dao is fastened in the handle. While his wife (118) was pregnant he didn't make any baskets. No medicines for difficult delivery seem to be known, anyhow not to the men.