The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter One. The Naga Hills
caption: greeting from Thevoni's wife with rice beer
medium: books
person: Thevoni
ethnicgroup: Angami
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: After several hours' march, we climbed down into the valley and crossed a small river. On the opposite bank there were several women waiting for us. The prettiest among them was Thevoni's young wife, who had come one day's march to meet him. The women had brought huge gourds full of rice-beer in their carrying baskets and though the beer did not have a very inspiring look, it tasted definitely good. But one can always have too much of a good thing : we had to taste the beer of each of the women in turn. Without rice-beer, the Angami considers life hardly worth living. He drinks water as seldom as he can. "Only when we go hunting do we sometimes drink water," Thevoni remarked, "then it is difficult to carry rice-beer with us. But when we go fishing, the women bring us rice-beer down to the river."