The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Furer-Haimendorf manuscript spiral bound notebook two

caption: description of boys and girls singing and dancing
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-12.1936
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
note: no pagination
text: The girls assemble in the big room. The boys come singing and stand about half an hour in the porch. The girls have left in the meanwhile and sit in the inner room on the pounding table. They complete their dress. It consists of a grey cloth wrapped around the body so that it leaves free arms and legs. They wear earrings, armlets, bracelets, rings on the fingers. The end of the hair is bound together by white cotton so as to form a pigtail like thing. The boys wear their usual dress. One of the older men has nothing on except his cane belt. Now the boys come and sit down in the inner room round the fire. They are helped with warm rice beer by the host and the lady of the house. In the meanwhile the older women (who?) lie on the beds, the one apparently sleeping, the other suckling her baby. Yong-wei, the naked man, who helps with the feeding, a second, Yong-wei. Now around each dish (with four legs) four boys sit and eat. The girls are still in the outer room. First banana leaves are spread on the dishes, then the rice is put in them. The meal is finished - the dishes are put away - the girls, who eat outside, some into the room, one of them distributes pan leaves with betel among the men. The men still sit around the fire. Now all the young people have sat down on the platform, behind the house - of course on that part which is sheltered by the roof. The girls sit with their backs to the wall, the boys in front of them. Both chew betel. Moreover, the boys sing - it sounds frightfully sad and serious. One has the impression that the singers will go to sleep every moment - they often sit motionless with half closed eyes and look frightfully bored. Their songs are very boring in any case and seem quite endless. The girls are wrapped in their greyish? cloth with red stripes and hardly move except for spitting occasionally.
text: [konyak].