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: preparations of breakfast ; fetching water and cooking
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York35:3
text: 'Ou-gem-ga-ba,' "the time of the third cock's crow," was the time for married women to rise from their beds. They began husking rice or millet for the morning and midday meals and the village reverberated with the dull thud of wooden pestles on wooden pounding tables. As the gray of dawn crept through the village the women winnowed the grain they had pounded, and when the first glimmer of light pointed the housetops against the sky, groups of women set out to fetch water, hurrying down the steep stone steps to the springs located below the village. Little girls accompanied their mothers and even children not more than three or four years old could be seen carrying water home in minute bamboo vessels. After returning from the spring, the women began to prepare the morning meal. The embers of the hearth in the center of the living room were stirred and new wood added to the fire. Rice, taro, or millet were set to boil in earthen cooking pots. This hour was called 'shum-bong-bu,' "time before sunrise." While breakfast was cooking, women fed the pigs with taro peelings and a mash made from the previous day's kitchen refuse. Men who were early risers emerged from their blankets, but others slept on until sunrise, the hour known as 'wang-he ya-ong,'