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: terms of address
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York81:1
text: The reserve observed by spouses was also expressed in the terms of address. While a young man addressed all the girls who were his partners and potential mates by name, he never called his wife by name, even though she belonged to precisely the same category of girls. Until she had become a mother, he had, indeed, no way of addressing her directly, but once she had born a child, either his own or that of a previous lover, he addressed her as "mother of so-and-so," and she in turn addressed him as "father of so-and-so." This custom of teknonymy was confined to Wakching and the neighboring villages, whereas in Longkhai and other villages of the Thendu group spouses addressed each other by name.