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: plentiful land near Oting, and easy house-building techniques
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Life in Oting seems not only singularly happy but also easier than in the higher hills. There is great deal of land at the disposal of the village, and even in times of bad harvests bananas ripening (92) throughout the year never allow the feeling of hunger to arise among the villagers. There is no wracking of brains over economic problems; clothes and food are always at hand, and in a land where bamboos and palms grow abundantly. there is no difficulty in finding the other necessaries of life. In the course of a few hours a house is durably thatched with a roof of palm leaves that offers equal protection against the cloud-bursts of the rains and the strongest rays of the summer sun. Bamboos are excellent building material; they can be cut from the jungle in any required strength, all ready for use. Thick, strong stems provide the posts, split and plaited into strong mats, they are admirably suited for house walls and floor coverings, while narrow cane strips form ligatures that, taking the place of nails and clamping-irons, bind the posts together. A great house can be built in two or three days, for all clansmen and friends lend a hand, and are paid on completion by a lavish entertainment of much food and rice-beer.