The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Nine. The Girls' Club of Punkhung
caption: setting off on tour
medium: books
person: Chingai/ of Oting
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: (83) All through the rains I had comforted myself with the thought that towards the end of September the weather would improve and in October I could begin touring through the villages lying north-east of Wakching. So when at last we had several clear days I decided to start, and sent messengers to the nearest villages announcing my visit. Chingai, the dobashi of Oting, was also informed that he should meet me in Punkhung four days after full moon. We spent a whole day in dividing up the tent, the camp-bed, cooking utensils, clothes, and provisions into nine coolie-loads, and then, just as the baskets stood packed and ready, the heavens opened as though the whole world must once more be soaked before the respite of the dry season. However, rain or no rain, I could not postpone my tour. The Wakching, boys who were to carry my luggage to Tanhai already squatted on the veranda of my bungalow and would not have appreciated being sent home on account of a little rain. When you hire Konyaks as porters, they come in twos, or even in threes for each load, carrying it alternately. Of course they must also share the wages, but they do not mind that. The Angami prefers carrying a full load and receiving the whole wage for himself.
text: Thus it was that, for the nine loads, eighteen boys had appeared and squatted near their baskets since early morning. Though the Konyak dislikes early rising, there is one thing that drives him to leave his bed at dawn: the hope of picking the lightest load. For it is a case of first come, first served; the first comer tying his carrying-band to the load he has selected, secures his claim.