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: Konyaks most active at night
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Punkhung
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: But the Konyaks are born night birds, and they only begin really to wake up at midnight. This quality can be very annoying when you would like a little peace in the camp after a tiring march. I remember nights when the people immediately next to my hut or tent debated in the liveliest tones until three or four in the morning. The following day, of course, it was often difficult to find the necessary carriers in time, and to shake my dobashi awake. Before nine o'clock in the morning, Konyaks are as good as incapable (88) of any mental effort, and the few times I got up early and wanted to make some notes I soon gave it up, in face of the continual yawning and stretching of my informants. But they would often come and want to tell me endless stories until late into the night, and then it was I who had the greatest difficulty in keeping my eyes open. The Konyaks even go to work on the fields quite late. Between nine and ten in the morning is tai-dzim -- "Assembling together time" -- the hour when the men and the boys come to the morung and sit about on the open platforms, chewing betel and discussing the events of the day. Only about ten o'clock -- at the time of 'all go', as it is called -- do they start off, and the sun often stands high in the sky before the men begin their day's work.