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: formal decisions on area to be cultivated , meetings
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York30:5
text: Although in Wakching the cycle of rotation was so well established that no one doubted which part of the fallow village territory would next come under cultivation, the decision was made annually in a formal manner. Every autumn, usually in October, those representatives of the five morungs who formed the village council met in the house of the chief and consulted omens by breaking eggs and, from the patterns made by the whites, deduced which slopes the villagers should clear for cultivation in the following year.
text: Villages differed in the importance they attached to these omens. In Wakching the cycle of rotation was so firmly rooted in accepted practice that the villagers did not seriously allow themselves to be deflected if the omens were bad, but risked a less abundant harvest rather than upset the customary cycle. In Longkhai, however, more attention was paid to the omens: If they were clearly unfavorable, another part of the village land was selected for cultivation. At the same meeting the morung officials admonished the villagers not to damage each other's crops and not to steal from fields or field houses; whoever disobey this order would be fined. Such fines were used for the purchase of pigs to be eaten by the members of the council.