The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: a particular marriage
caption: Chapter Three. Phases of Life
caption: brideprice
medium: books
person: Metlou/ of WakchingShuidzing/ of WakchingWeikok/ of WakchingYoyong/ of Wakching
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York77:3
text: The ceremonies connected with the conclusion of a marriage are best demonstrated by describing a concrete case. Metlou, a young man of Bala morung and Leunok clan, had had a love affair with a girl of Oukheang ward, but in deference to her father's wishes she married the son of her father's sister, who belonged to the Balang morung, the traditional partner of the Oukheang. Metlou, however, was not discouraged from courting another girl of the Oukheang and gained the affections of Shuidzing, daughter of Weikok of Khoknok clan. To this union the parents of both parties offered no objection. While the decision to marry was taken by the prospective spouses, the bride price had to be negotiated between the girl's father and the boy's go-between. Yoyong, a cousin of Metlou and a member of the great house of his clan, acted for Metlou, and it was he who first approached Weikok in order to arrange the details of the marriage. He took Weikok a spear and a woman's brass armring and, after accepting these gifts, Weikok sacrificed a chicken. Praying for the success of the marriage, he scrutinized the intestines of the chicken and discovered that the omens were favorable. He tied some large leaves to the mainpost of his house, sprinkled them with the blood of the chicken, and invoked the blessing of Gawang, the sky god.
text: When negotiations were concluded, Weikok made gifts to the go-between, presenting Yoyong with the sacrificial chicken, some cooked rice, and a small basket of uncooked rice.
text: Three days later the wedding took place. At sunset the go-between took the agreed but modest bride price to the bride's father. It consisted of three brass plates such as Konyaks use for ceremonial payments and one dao. Wealthier people paid bride prices composed of a large assortment of valuables and commodities, such as five brass plates, twenty spears, several baskets of rice, chilies and betel nuts, and a few chickens.