The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: boys and girls dormitories; stories and animals
medium: notes
person: Deusuba/ of LaisongMekolang/ of Laisong
ethnicgroup: Zemi
location: Laisong
date: 17.8.1970
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 8.8.1970-8.9.1970
person: private collection
text: The 'owner" of Kangkianga is Deusuba of Tingbamtsa. He has an older brother, who has built a house of his own. The youngest son remains in the house. The 'owner" of the morung gets a share of any game killed by men of the morung and in return he offers him some rice-beer. The members of a morung are scattered over the []. The girls' dormitory is not a separate house, but the girls choose the house of a suitable family. The owner does not profit. The young men visit the girls dormitory in the evening, not in the day. The girls can change their dormitory. In the old days all the men of a village would combine for a raid. The men of a morung did not go raiding separately. At the time of the rebuilding of a morung, pigs and sometimes mithan are sacrificed. The members all bring some rice to the feast. In all villages the morungs are combined with a dwelling house. The Kangkianga morung was rebuilt 13 years ago. Deusaba, 'owner' of the Kangkianga morung, was a boy member of the Imrekianga morung. When he got married he changed over to the Kangkiangsa (sic) in order to look after his father, with whom he had always lived in the house attached to the morung. Morung membership can be changed on the account of quarrels. Hang-liaye-tepu - title of the head of a morung. He is an unmarried young man. The head of Kangkianga is Mekolang, of Indriame clan. He was appointed by the other boys, not a public appointment. He is generally obeyed by the other members of the morung but only as long as he stays. Tingbumtsa, the sub-clan, is descended from a swan. (Ting = swan, bum = fallen down). A swan fell out of the sky, and the ancestor of the sub-clan came out. They don't kill swans. The gibbon originated from a man of Henume. A man of this clan was very lazy and he turned into a gibbon. They don't kill gibbons. There is a different story of a lazy girl who was to pound rice and make rice-beer. But she went to the jungle and climbed a fruit tree and ate the fruit. When her father went in search of her, she called out to him saying she would not come home but live on the fruits of the forest, thus she became a gibbon.