The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook nine

caption: boys and girls working and courting and marriage
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 10.3.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 29.10.1936-24.3.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (147) [konyak] In this way the members of a gang say: "Tomorrow we shall go to my fields", "the day after to my fields" "after these two to mine" etc. (148) Now at sowing time the boys and girls of the same morung work together on the fields. Later on after the Oulingbu two Thepong girls go with a gang of Bala men, and two Bala men with a gang of The-pong girls. They eat the meat of Ouling-bu, later on they kill chickens. The boys and girls eat from the same dish, but it is "shorom" for the girls to eat meat in front of the men, therefore they eat only rice and vegetables, while the meat is all eaten by the men. (149) Coming home from the fields the girls carry the baskets of the two men, the men carrying nothing. Also when two girls go with the Bala men to the latter's fields they carry two baskets. In the cold weather all girls carry wood, but in hot weather the nan-ya-lan don't carry wood, only the ya-la-lan and nu-yong-lan. Now girls and boys of the same morung may work in the fields if there are sons and daughters in a house, but they do not eat together but on different dishes. (150) When a boy wants to meet a girl at night he comes to the house where she is sleeping and softly knocks at the wall near the sleeping place with his finger nail. This is called "mai-dzing-bu". He asks: [konyak] then he returns to the morung and she to her house. The next night they meet. (151) They say: [konyak]. When a man knocks at the wall of a house where girls sleep first the oldest (na-yong-ba) comes out. [konyak] "Shall we two meet together?" She answers if she does not want to: [konyak]. If she wants she says: [konyak] "I want". If the man does not want to meet the oldest girl who comes out but one of the others he says:
text: (152) [konyak]. The girls are called according to their age (if
text: there are five):
text: If the two get on well the man may say: [konyak] "do you want to marry me?" (153) Then the girl answers if she wants: [konyak]. If she doesn't want she says: [konyak]. If the two agree the man gives one brass armlet (one single ring) and one spear to the parents of the girl, but he does not bring them himself but one of his relatives. Then the girl's parents give two big pots of cooked white rice, two chungas with madhu, (154) two packets of vegetables and one cooked chicken. Then the man gives to the girl's parents some layas or among poor people even only a dao. At all feasts the girl's parents give presents of food and meat to the husband, even if the girl dies but has a child who remains with her husband.