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: advantages of being a tevo
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Angami
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: You would think that the man envisaged as the successor of the Tevo must cut but a poor figure on the marriage market. Nevertheless there are always girls to be found who are willing to marry a Tevo, though a Tevo's wife may not seek consolation with any other men, and even in the case of divorce, must refrain from all love-making until the end of the period under taboo. Should the wife of a Tevo break this law, she is threatened with exile, for she is thought to be so closely linked with the Tevo, and therefore with the well-being of the whole village, that she must observe the same taboos as the Tevo himself. That the breaking of the taboo may have been accidental or involuntary makes no difference, and Thevoni told us that such a case had occurred in his village not so long ago.