The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Descriptive Ethnography of Bengal' on Nagas by E.T. Dalton

caption: Section 7. (2) - The Kukis
caption: birthday feasts: baby fed with rice from mother's mouth; boy leaving family home to go to guard house; bride price; marriage; Thimpu officiates; pair presented with combs
medium: articles
person: Dalton/ E.T.
date: 1872
text: (47) They have a peculiar custom after parturition. Three days after the birth of a girl, and five after the birth of a boy, a feast is given, of which the child partakes. The mother gives rice to the child from her own mouth as birds feed their young, and this is occasionally continued till the child is weaned. At 12 or 13, a boy is excluded from the family mansion at night and compelled to take rest or share of the vigil with the young men in the watch-houses.
text: A bride must be bought with a price which may be Rs. 30, or served for by a bondage of two years. This settled, there is a meeting of mutual friends and a feast at the house of the bride's father. Next morning the young couple are led before the Thimpu, who presents them with a stoup of liquor which they both drink, and then two threads of cotton are tied round the neck of the man. These strings are not taken off, but when they rot away are not renewed. Lastly, the Thimpu presents each with a small comb and his blessing.