The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook fourteen

caption: cooking and food
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 25.5.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.5.1937-3.6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (143) Cooking:
text: The rice is cooked and eaten quite plain, neither salt nor chillies or any fat are added. Taro is cooked together with salt, chillies, sour bamboo sprouts, and any vegetables or leaves to be had; any meat is cooked together with the vegetables. Only if there is a lot of meat, as at the time of Oulingbu, it is boiled separately in one pot and only salt and chillies are added. (144) At feast times they mix flour, (of rice or millet) "an", with their vegetables, which dish is called "an-hui". Also when there is no taro people take flour to the fields and mix it with the vegetables, they have (hearts of banana stem, "ngat", pumpkin, "yau", banana sprouts, dried taro leaves). Sweet potatoes are not mixed with other vegetables, but either roasted or boiled separately with salt and chillies.
text: (145) Sago, "lok", is dried and then pounded. The flour is mixed with water to a paste and roasted wrapped up in leaves over the fire. "An-she", the sausages made at the Oulingbu are made by mixing the pig's blood and fat, flour (of rice), salt, chillies and onions. This mixture is put into a chunga and roasted over the fire. Meat is never roasted over the fire, only boiled in pots and chungas. Yongang and Medzou say that it is not (146) the custom to roast a chicken over the fire, as I saw it done at Oting. Small boys may roast tiny bits, but roasted meat gives one indigestion. When many people go to work on a field, cooked rice is taken from the house and eaten cold. Old people who go alone may boil the rice in the field house. Maize is either roasted so to become puffed maize, or it is boiled like rice without adding anything. (147) Bananas are boiled and salt and chillies are added. They are not mixed with other vegetables.
text: Big fish are cooked with the vegetables in pots like meat. Small fish are cooked in chungas mixed with salt, chillies, sour bamboo sprouts. Some fish are dried and then eaten mixed with salt and chillies, though they smell strongly. Yongang says that such fish don't cause stomach ache. (148) Sometimes pork is boiled with salt and chillies and then put into chungas and kept (at any place) a month or two. Then it smells very unpleasant, of course. The leaves of onions, "oshi", are eaten as vegetables, the onions are also dried and kept for a long time. Eggs are not eaten by grown up people, because they don't want to lose the chickens, but boys search eggs and boil them by wrapping them up in leaves and putting them (149) so into the water, but the parents scold them for eating the eggs. They do it only secretly.