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: communal sleeping in dormitories in other villages
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching Chingtang
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York75:2
text: In some of the villages of the Thenkoh group the sexual freedom of the unmarried was even greater than in Wakching. In the small village of Chingtang, for instance, the girls slept in the many dark cubicles of their dormitory with numerous boys in succession. I was told that in the total darkness of the dormitory a girl sometimes failed to recognize the boy with whom she was sleeping and, hence, if pregnant she could not name the child's father. A girl in this position would hold onto any young man who was making love to her, and, by shouting for the assistance of her friends, force him to reveal his identity. A youth caught thus in the act was held responsible for the paternity of the unborn child and had either to marry the girl or pay her parents one pig and one field as compensation. Clever girls tried to catch particularly wealthy boys in this manner.