The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Eleven. Sacred Chiefs
caption: besieged by inquisitive children
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Hungphoi
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Hungphoi was the noisiest village I have ever been in. Large crowds of children surrounded my hut the whole day but as soon as I approached, hoping to make friends with them, they would disperse with shrieks of laughter. Children of seven and eight carried their small brothers and sisters on their back and I cannot imagine how these infants slept solidly through all the noise. I would not have minded if the children had only screamed and shouted. I should have got used to that, but unfortunately their incredible curiosity drove them to creep up to the walls of my hut and peep through the plaited walls at all hours of the day or night. Whether I ate, washed, or wrote my diary, each movement of mine would result in a torrent of whispered comments, until I was so infuriated that I would either leave the hut or extinguish my oil lamp. If only I could have turned their interest to some purpose; but their boldness behind the protecting wall changed to the most unbelievable shyness whenever I pointed my camera in their direction.