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: girls strew leaves on path at death
medium: books
person: Balang morung/ WakchingChinyak/ of Wakching
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: These were the morung friends of Chinyak and young girls of the Balang morung. They did not seem at all shattered by the death, as they talked in their usual light way to each other -- these youths, who had lost a companion, and these girls, who had so often sung and joked with Chinyak. Perhaps so many are stricken in their midst that Nagas are more used to death than we, and therefore take it more lightly. I followed the girls up to the village, careful not to tread on the trail of leaves they had strewn on the path, so that the soul of Chinyak, on leaving his body, might find the way to his monument. Chinyak told me that this last act of piety is always performed by the girls of those morung with which the deceased could have intermarried.