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: absence of widespread adultery
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York84:1
text: The adultery of a wife already established in her husband's household was considered a more serious matter than the flightiness of a newly married bride living with her parents. As soon as a couple had founded a household of their own, both spouses were expected to be faithful to each other. From that moment every breach of the marital code was considered an offense against the recognized social order. Though such a lapse did not seriously damage a man's social standing, the ideal was undoubtedly a marriage in which both spouses remained faithful to each other. If we consider the wife's entry into the husband's house as the effective beginning of a marriage, this ideal was often attained. By that time a woman had had several years of sexual freedom, and further temptations were few because the sexually aggressive unmarried men found sufficient scope for adventures among the young girls. A married man too developed other interests than love affairs once he had taken his bride into his house, for as a householder he had to devote most of his energy to the cultivation of his land and the maintenance of his family. If satisfactorily married, husbands felt little inclination for extramarital escapades, and even men who had not found much happiness in marriage told me that they found it difficult to win the favors of young girls, because such girls were monopolized by the unmarried boys who were their work, song, and dance partners.