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: customs and political history
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Shiong
date: 31.8.1970
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 8.8.1970-8.9.1970
person: private collection
text: Positions outside the village:
Govt. service: 35
1 Minister
9-10 teachers
1 Lower Division Assistant (clerk)
1 Police Naik (Armed Police)
22 Class IV employees (Peons, Police Constables).
text: There were 13 underground members in Shiong. They all surrendered in 1969. Most of them are now in Service. Their wives were always here. Our host, Minister's brother, was lieutenant in the Underground. He was in the party which killed six men (B.D.O., Head Clerk, Driver, Peon, Dobashi) near Tanhai. In 1969 he also destroyed a Civil Force camp near Mokokchung. He surrendered already in 1967. Shiong is 100% Christian, they still perform Oulingbu and other feasts, but without the sacrifices and puja. Rice-beer is not openly drunk, but in the houses people drink privately. The Ang still receives shares from the villagers. He is given a hind leg of wild game killed. 5 times a year they work on his fields. (They give tribute to the Chui Ang). They came 1881 from Chui. Each house gives either 1 Kg. of rice or Rs. 1/- to the Chui Ang. (It used to be one small basket of rice). If the Chui Ang dies they take one pig to Chui and kill it there. The Shiong Ang has no more judicial powers. His house is built and repaired by the villagers. Bachelors still sleep in the morung. The system of girls' clubs has been abandoned. When the Shiong Ang dies people from Chui and Wakching come and kill one pig each. When the Chui Ang dies all the dependant villages (incl. Shiong) go there and each village kills one of the Chui pigs. The log drum is still being played on such occasions as feasts or the death of a villager or a great Ang. Chui has about 50 colonies. Shangnyu has about 20 colonies. Mon has about 15 colonies. Tang has about 2 colonies. Therefore no one dares to pick a quarrel with Chui. Sheangha has 4 colonies. Totok has no colonies. Totok Chinga was settled near Wakching (where the High School is at present). They were driven out by Wakching with the help of the Chui Ang. In Shangnyu there are now 60 houses from Chui and one Ang from Chui. He came about 80 years ago. This was when Shangnyu drove out the Ang from Pomau.
text: Shiong villagers sell: ginger and chillies, bamboo mats (most important export), oranges, baskets, vegetables (to Wakching town and to Naginimara). They also earn cash by labour. A bamboo mat fetched Rs. 6-7, and a man can carry about ten. Kongan, Wanching, Wakching, Pungkung, Tanhai sell pan leaves. They earn much by this trade. Wakching buys bamboo mats from Chinglong, Totok, Chingtong, Aopao etc. for about Rs. 3-4 and carry them to the plains and sell them for Rs. 6-7. Wakching catches house rats and smoke them; they barter them for opium to Totok. One rat sells for about .5 Rupee.
text: Shiong terms:
Wang-rack (great Ang)
text: Tolem - a Ben clan which was the henchman of the Angs. They executed the orders of the Ang.
text: Longphu, Wangnau & Nyemlem - can marry either Ben or Ang.