The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Ten. Paradise in the Jungle
caption: relaxed and easy relations between men and women; sex
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: I believe that among the Konyaks the relations between men and women are perhaps not quite as often the cause of unhappiness as in western societies. Not that every young man can possess the girl he desires, or that marriages are invariably happy. But where attraction is mutual custom erects few bars to fulfilment, and most young people choose their own marriage-partners. True, early marriages arranged by the parents are not infrequent, but they have only the character of engagements and are dissolved without difficulty; often before they are consummated. Except for those chief's daughters burdened by the obligations of high rank, there is no Konyak girl who may not enjoy the first passionate raptures of love with a youth of her choice, even should she later have to live with a husband to whom she is less attracted. Tragedy in love seems to be a rare exception, but it is not unknown. I heard of a girl who hanged herself because she could not marry the man she loved.