The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Eight. The Harvest
caption: clearing of land work of individual families; burning forest
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The clearing of the land is the work of the individual families, the old men and women cutting down the undergrowth with their dao, and the young men felling the trees. Only a few are left standing, so that the jungle may regenerate quickly, once the period of (75) cultivation is over. Then, after the felled jungle has been left to dry for several weeks, it is burnt, and in January and February you can see smoke and lines of fire on all the slopes, slowly eating their way up through the thicket. Often on windless days the smoke lies idly over the land in long wreaths, and the sun is tinted dull red in a leaden sky. The Konyak uses no animal manure, but the ashes from the burning jungle provide a valuable fertilizer.