The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook twelve

caption: building a house at Wakching described in detail
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 24.3.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 24.3.1937-27.4.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (1) Wakching 24/3/1937
text: Building a house, continued from []
text: At about 1pm. the roof is almost completed. (SKETCH P.1
text: 1.30 Now all the younger men and boys climb up onto the top of the roof and sit on the bamboo (c) (SKETCH P.2.
text: (5) 2pm. The small boys begin now with thatching the roof. They work in one long line on the west side of the roof, starting from the bottom and working up to the ridge. The bigger boys throw the flat rows of palm leaves up to the roof where they are caught by the small boys.
text: The older men work in the meanwhile in the interior. From one cross-beam (bangpheam) to the other they lay thinner beams (running parallel to the ridge pole (bang-be). Over this a strong mat is laid as ceiling. (6) Now the walls of the various partitions of the house are built, first that which separates the porch from the main room.
text: 3pm. One side of the roof is completed. Some of the small boys have now a rest, many sit and lie on the top of the roof. The others have already started thatching the other side of the roof. They tie the palm leaves with cane splittings to the horizontal roof poles. The men inside the house have divided up the main room with the hearth. For the walls (7) of these partitions also old and new mats are used.
text: 3.30 The other side of the roof is completed too. Now the boys thatched round front part of the roof. 4pm. The whole roof is completed, only the bamboo ridge pole must be covered and the ends of the main poles which stand out. This cannot be done by boys or young men, however, for if they did it their wives would have difficult deliveries. (8) Yongwei and another man cut now the two carved posts, which will be put up to both sides of the door. Only men of Ang clan are entitled to such posts. As Achang is not of real Ang clan they may not be painted red. As soon as they have finished carving them the two men put them up. The wall at both sides of the door is covered with split bamboo now. This is also a privilege of Angs.
text: 4.45 Yongwei and the young men both climb now the roof, and sitting on the top they sing the morung songs.