The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook fourteen

caption: funeral customs
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 2.5.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.5.1937-3.6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (11) Funeral customs.
text: On the day of the funeral all the members of the same sib, who came from the same dzei-yongnok, remain in the village and don't work on the fields. If the deceased was a man, the young men of his morung and the girls of the corresponding morung attend the funeral and don't go to the fields. As soon as a boy has entered the morung his funeral is like that of a grown-up man and the drum is beaten. (12) For smaller children the ceremonies are simplified. The corpses are also carried by the old men of the morung. Those of babies who have no teeth yet are disposed of in the branches of trees and the heads are not taken off. For the other children, machans are built. While the corpse of a child is still in the house the members of his clan come to the house and give him some rice; (this is called maudzangbu). For boys the old men say the same words as for grown men. Other words are said for girls and (13) women. For girls and women the following words are said [konyak] ie. "Give to Doloba 'shali' (for chewing betel), he is the man who shows you the path". Doloba sends men on different paths to Yimbu. The people who died a natural death are sent on a good path, which is cleared. Those who have bad diseases, as leprosy, and people (14) who died an apothia death, are sent on a path which is not clear, also people whose earlobes have been torn.
text: (15-17) [konyak]