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: rain shields worn while weeding; work gangs composed of inter-marrying morungs
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: This keeping pace with the weeds means weeks and months of endless work in the rice-fields. The women wear large rain-shields made from palm-leaves, but the men work unconcernedly with either rain or sun on their bare bent backs. Yet who would find even weeding boring, when he is working side by side with his love? A wise Konyak custom allows the most tedious work to be performed by girls and boys together. The boys of a gang invite their girl friends to go with them to the fields and the next day they help in return on the fields of the girls' fathers. These working-gangs are always composed of the inter-marrying morung -- the girls are the potential wives of the boys, and more often than not their actual mistresses. Small wonder that much laughing and joking banishes boredom, and many of the Wakching romances begin in the rice-fields.