The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook fourteen

caption: ceremonies after childbirth, naming
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 17.5.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.5.1937-3.6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
seealso: notebook 6,p.139
text: (49) Wakching 17/5/1937
text: Inf. Yongang
text: cf. NB 6 p. 139
text: On the seventh day after the birth of a child the mother goes to the spring with the child, and washes herself and the child. The day after the birth of the child the oldest man of the whole clan (within the morung) makes a ceremony. He kills three chickens at the main post of the house of the child's father, two are provided by the father and one by the brothers of the mother. They are also given two chunga (nan-shou) of rice, one with white "chaul", the other with red "chaul". (50) No words are spoken. On that day the old man of the clan sees the omens for the name of the child, he does it in the father's house with a dao and two pieces of ginger, which he first puts on the day and lets them glide to the floor by moving the dao. Their position indicates whether the proposed name is lucky. The name is proposed by the father. When the child is not healthy and cries much after three or four months the name is changed - "the child does not like it". (51) During the first two or three months the mother and child must not meet any strangers (of other villages). When men of another village come to Wakching they must not enter the house straight away, but after having eaten in some other house they may enter it, because by then they have "become like Wakching men". A pregnant women observes many food taboos, but no special ceremonies are made during pregnancy.