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: courting customs
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York72:3
text: This question alluded to the small gifts often exchanged by lovers, and if the girl liked him she would reply: "Yes, I shall accept them," and might add, "Tomorrow I shall meet you."
text: Content with this preliminary success, the boy would return to his morung, and the girl would slip back into the house, but chance did not always favor a boy. Another girl might answer the knocking, and then he would have to beg her to send out the girl he was seeking. If the boy was not to the girl's liking, she would openly reject his advances, possibly pretending that she had already accepted another boy's gifts. If a boy was excessively timid, he might recoil from the risk of an open refusal, and send one of the small boys of the morung to inquire whether his visit would be welcome. If in one or other way he had obtained the girl's agreement, he returned next evening. Though a love affair was not a matter to be ashamed of, he would cover his head with his cloak lest he were recognized. Again he knocked on the wall, and when the girl came out, they sat down on the platform outside the house, exchanged pan leaves and betel, and talked in low voices. If the girl was still very young and shy, many weeks passed in such innocent meetings in the open, but ultimately the suitor would persuade the girl to retire with him into the dark porch of the house. If the girl, as one of my informants put it, "refused with her mouth, though she consented in her heart," the young man might be bold enough to drag her into the porch and it was there, on a small bamboo bench, that the first intercourse would take place. The lovers were not afraid of being detected by the girl's parents, but to be seen by the girl's brother was considered embarrassing.