The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf Naga diary on his return to Nagaland, 1970

caption: rivalry over recruits to morungs
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Zemi
location: Longkai
date: 13.8.1970
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 12.8.1970-9.9.1970
person: private collection
text: From Mahur we drove past a camp of the military police to a nearby Zemi village called Longkai . A jeep track leads right up to the village which straddles a low ridge. There are only a few houses but two morungs with high fronts and pointed, steep roofs. There were not many people in the village and they looked rather unimpressive. The inside of the morungs is fairly spacious and clean but there are no carvings or other decorations. Here I heard of the strange custom that recruitment to the morungs is not by descent, but that soon after the birth of a boy baby, the young men of the morung claim the child as their member, the representatives of whatever morung forestalls the other, get the child as their member. Thus two brothers of the same father and mother may belong to different morungs.