The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook twelve

caption: building of a girl's morung
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 13.4.1937
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: (76) Wakching 13/4/1937
text: Building of a girl's morung.
text: The Balang men and boys have built a girl's dormitory as an annex to the house of Yanang, Yanahu, of the Aukheang. This house has a platform in front and a big one at one side. From the narrow passage, in which the pounding table is standing, a door leads directly into the new dormitory. Only a part of the latter is on solid ground. The rest is built on piles on that place where usually the platform (77) of a house is situated. In the dormitory are (at present) only two machans.
text: Now at 5.30pm. the roof is completed and the people sit down to eat, the boys in the new dormitory and the men in the big room with the hearth. A small pig has been killed and madhu prepared, and a great quantity of white and red rice cooked. This food was provided by the Aukheang girls and cooked in Yanang's house. They paid for it with the money they have earned by working on the fields of other men. This money is paid to a gang as a whole and kept for (78) the girls by a trustworthy man who has daughters himself. Here Yanyang keeps the money. The shem-yo, the Aukheang girls' morung, has always been built on that site, for a long time ago, (probably many generations ago), the Balang men have bought the site from Yanyang's ancestors. They also give help to Yanyang when he is in difficulties and work on his fields without asking for a payment. The girls give today also tea, bark and salt to the Balang boys.
text: (80) At the Oulingbu all the Aukheang girls bring a piece of pork (some even a whole hind-leg) and some cooked rice to their morung (yo) and the Balang men come and are again entertained. The young Balang men take also some pork and some rice with them and give it to the five or six oldest men of their morung, who function at funerals. The young and middle aged men eat here, but don't take away anything. (80v) As soon as a girl puts on a skirt she belongs to the "yo" and she gives pork and rice, but only the bigger girls eat of the meat and the rice. All the girls assemble at night in the "yo", but only the bigger ones stay the whole night. They may sleep here with their lovers, if they don't prefer to go to a granary. The smaller girls go home after some time and sleep in their own houses. (81) The pig was killed by Yanang. (82) The Angban boys, who don't build any "yo" receive at the Oulingbu two hind-legs (pig) from each of the four morungs, and the Angban girls give two hind-legs to the boys of each of the four other morungs. The Angban men don't give any exchange gifts for the pork they get. They eat it in their own morung. (83) The Aukheang men have bought the site of the girl's morung in the Ang's house and only they may go there. The Thepong men must not go to the "yo" of the Angban. Thus the Aukheang men may go to the "yo" of Balang and to that of Angban.