The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-four. The World Beyond
caption: abstention from work, genna, to avoid misfortune
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wanching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: By morning the storm abates, and, to my surprise, we find my tent has resisted its force. But the village presents a scene of destruction. Roofs have been blown away, and big trees broken or uprooted. I would never have thought that such giants could break under a storm like matches. On the path to Wakching a whole patch of forest has been battered down. Most of the field-houses are destroyed and the fragments dispersed untidily over the ground. Just as the Konyaks did some weeks ago after an earthquake, the whole village holds a holiday to avert further misfortune. For whenever anything unusual or disastrous occurs, a day of abstention from work is supposed to re-establish the disturbed balance and protect the community from latent dangers.