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: clearing of swidden fields, how and who
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York31:2
text: The clearing of the jungle in the area earmarked for cultivation was done by the owners of individual plots. Sometimes the work was done entirely by members of the owner's family, and sometimes kinsmen helped each other on a basis of reciprocity. The older men and women cleared the undergrowth, while the young men felled the trees. A few of the trees were spared, but were so severely pollarded that their shade did not affect the growth of the crop. By allowing such trees to remain standing in the midst of the fields the Konyaks protected their land against erosion and facilitated the regeneration of the jungle at the end of the period of cultivation.