The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Six. Death in the Rain
caption: youths and girls setting up bamboo scaffold in burial ritual
medium: books
person: Chinyak/ of Wakching
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: On my way to the village one morning, I found a group of boys and girls by the path. They were setting up a monument to the soul of Chinyak, a young man of the Oukheang who had died during the night, not from dysentery, but from some other illness that had lasted several months. Countless times he had sacrificed to the sky-god and to the spirits of the earth, and at last he had even moved from his house, which he felt must be cursed, and settled in the house of one of his clansmen. But all had been in vain for that night he had died, and now the youths were erecting (60) a bamboo scaffold and putting up a roughly hewn wooden figure for his soul, and the girls were fashioning two caps from large fresh leaves, and painting them with white chalk. One for the wooden figure and the other for the head of the dead body.