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 charred wood, smoothing, digging earth; communal work gangs
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Before the sowing can begin, the charred pieces of wood must be collected and the ground smoothed and cleaned. Huts spring up in the fields, and here the workers go to seek protection against the burning sun and the heaviest of the summer showers. Digging over the soil is dull work, and one which the Konyak does not dream of undertaking alone. The idea of the solitary plougher would not appeal to the Naga, for he knows how much easier and how much more amusing it is to work together. The young people, at any rate,join in gangs and cultivate each other's fields in rotation. Even the small boys and girls are organized in groups, and all over the fields you can hear the songs and shouts with which they accompany the work.