The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Three. Phases of Life
caption: children soon share adult world ; kindness to children
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York67:8
text: The scarcity of children's games may partly have been due to the children's early integration into the adult community, and their active participation in economic activities at a comparatively tender age. There was no need to build a world of their own, for they shared the world of their parents, and adults had few interests which lay beyond the comprehension of children. Young children were treated as reasonable and responsible persons, and there were few opportunities for coercion or punishment of naughty children. During my entire stay among the Konyaks I saw only one child beaten, and this beating was nothing more than a few slaps which an angry grandmother gave to a screaming little boy who refused to leave the fascinating spectacle of house-building and go and eat his dinner. Parents spoke to their children in the same quiet and friendly tone they would use to adults. A grumbling father, shouting at his children in public, would have been subject to the disapproval of his kinsmen and neighbors, and parents reacted to minor acts of indiscipline with tolerance and apparent indifference.