The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : 'Konyak Nagas' by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, (1969)

caption: Introduction
caption: writing in past tense though not everything is gone
medium: books
ethnicgroup: KonyakWanchu
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York2:1
text: The impossibility of ascertaining the extent of recent changes in the cultural life and social system of the Konyaks comprised within the political unit now known as Nagaland has made it advisable to write this entire account of traditional Naga life in the past tense. The decision to use a historic form of representation does not imply, however, that all aspects of tribal life have drastically changed, and even less that the Konyaks and Wanchus have undergone a process of social and cultural disintegration comparable to the fate of Australian or American Indian populations. They remain compact and vigorous communities, undisturbed in the possession of their ancestral lands, but their subjection to an outside authority, and the establishment of contacts with populations of different cultural background must inevitably have led to modifications of the traditional social order. To ignore these modifications and use the present tense for a description of a state of affairs observed some thirty years ago would create the misleading impression that life in the Naga hills still corresponds to the picture painted in my earlier book 'The Naked Nagas' ( 1939).