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: songs in the girls' club
medium: books
person: Chingai
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Punkhung
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: When I turned up that evening with Chingai, the girls were still (87) alone. In the light of the flickering fire they sat on their broad sleeping-benches round the room, and passed the time with their beloved singing. There was no cause to doubt their good spirits, but their songs sounded sad and monotonous, rather like dirges at the grave of a dearest friend, and even when the boys came in one by one, and sat down, each next to his girl, the songs did not become any merrier. There was much silvery, high-pitched laughter in the pauses between the songs, and the jokes flying to and fro were no longer ambiguous. Nevertheless the behaviour of the young people was unimpeachable, and the couples did not dream of flirting openly. They would have plenty of time for that when the red embers of the fire burnt out and the shadows on the walls had faded into the darkness. There was a great romp, with much laughing and screaming when one of the boys left his place for a moment and another girl jokingly slipped in beside his sweetheart.