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 land after burning ; building field hut
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York31:4
text: The burning of the forest did not complete the preparation of the fields. Before sowing could begin, all charred wood had to be collected and disposed of, and the soil cleaned and superficially dug over. At this time the cultivators built field huts in which they could take shelter from rain or the heat of the sun. Considerable importance was attached to the building of these field huts, and before ordinary villagers could begin the work of construction, a village official belonging to a clan associated with the foundation of the village had to ceremoniously build a field hut on his own land. In most villages the chief's field hut was built next, and only then were the other villagers allowed to proceed with the work. The same dignitary who in this way initiated the cultivation season acted also as "first sower" and later as "first reaper," functions to which all Naga tribes attributed great importance.