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: widows, widowers and the continuance of gifts
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York88:5
text: On the death of a wife, the bereaved husband had to give one field to her nearest male kinsmen. If there were children, he continued to receive ceremonial gifts from his deceased wife's kinsmen. A childless woman, when widowed, returned to her natal family, taking with her only her personal possessions. The deceased husband's kinsmen owed her no maintenance. However, a widow with a son continued to live with him in her late husband's house, farming the land which the boy had inherited. In the event of her remarriage, she had to leave the house, and her son, unless he was very small, would go to live with kinsmen of his father. A widow with small daughters was expected to stay in her husband's house only if it was also inhabited by one of his male relatives, but if the widow's daughters were older, she might remain with them even in the absence of such a kinsmen and utilize the deceased husband's land until such a time as the last of the daughters was married. Then, the widowed mother would move with the daughter to the house of her son-in-law, and her late husband's house and land would be taken over by his closest agnatic kinsmen.