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: all children of wife belong to husband's clan
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York82:2
text: In marriages contracted between partners who had had sexual relations either before the performance of the wedding rites or before the wife moved into the husband's house, the first child, which a mother bore in her parental home, was likely to be the offspring of her legal husband, but marriage was not always the outcome of a love affair. It was not unusual for two young people married on the initiative of parents to evince little interest in each other. If after a few months or even years a young wife became pregnant from a man other than her husband, the child belonged, nevertheless, to her legal spouse. The biological father could claim the child only if he decided to marry its mother and compensated the husband by repaying the bride price. If a lover was either unwilling or unable to do this, the wife was compelled to move with her child to the house of her wedded husband, who was not entitled to refuse her admittance. A husband unwilling to keep his wife and her child could divorce her, but if he did, he had to pay substantial compensation to her parents.