The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-three. The Spring Festival
caption: dance by girls at Spring festival
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Longkhai
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: No prima donna could take longer over her toilette than these girls, and it is already past midday when they begin to dance on the bamboo platform. For hours they pace about hand in hand, tripping round and round in time to a monotonous chant. There is little variation in the steps of the dance and in the eternally repeated songs. But the old women, crowding round the platform and proudly watching their daughters, find nothing boring in the performance. Every other minute they adjust their daughters' hair-dress or pieces of jewellery; here is a straying tress, and here a necklace is out of place. No one else would notice these faults, and the way they worry continually over the looks of the dancers is rather laughable, and yet somehow touching.