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: girls tattooed at seven or eight; informal girls' groups based on dormitory
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York70:4
text: What the morung was for the boys, the 'yo' or girls' dormitory was for the adolescent girls. There was, however, no common initiation ceremony for girls of one age, but a small family feast was held when a girl of seven or eight had her legs tattooed. Gradually, the girls of roughly similar age would begin to cooperate in informal groups, which developed into labour gangs on the model of those of the boys. Thus, the girls too were drawn away from the family and trained to work for the community. Until she moved into the house of her husband, a girl spent a large part of the day working with her agemates. Only daily household chores, such as fetching water and husking rice, were performed by girls for their own families.