The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter One. The Material Background
caption: enormous size and structure of Wakching morungs and their function
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York25:1
text: The men's houses of such large Thenkoh villages as Wakching were solidly constructed buildings of immense size. The Thepong morung of Wakching, as I knew it in 1936, was 84 feet long and 36 feet broad. The gabled roof was thickly thatched with palm leaves and at the sides the eaves almost touched the ground. A miscellany of leaf bundles, flat decorated sticks, and small carvings of birds were hung from the front ends of the roof rafters and from the thatch, so that they formed a curtain which gave the open porch protection against the sun. This porch extended across the entire width of the building and was about 24 feet deep. Enormous boards 3-4 feet wide and 2 feet high, hollowed on the underside, were set up on three sides of the porch and provided convenient benches on which to work and sit. It was in this porch that most of morung activities took place. In the morning the boys and men who had slept in the morung warmed themselves at the fires burning on two hearths, and later in the day men used the porch as a convenient place in which to make baskets, repair mats, and do all manner of odd jobs while they gossiped with their morung friends. On feast days men assembled on the porch and drank rice beer and tea, and on certain occasions they were joined by their wives, sisters, and daughters. For unlike the men's houses of the Ao Nagas, those of the Konyaks were not closed to women, and when men of a neighboring village came visiting, the girls of the Wakching morung danced with them in the central hall. On ordinary days, however, women did not enter the men's house.