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: employing a soothsayer
medium: books
person: Limnia/ of WakchingShankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: A few months before I am to leave Wakching, I decide to employ the services of the soothsayer Limnia to learn more of the nature of her prophecies. So that she shall not be upset by an unaccustomed task, I take Shankok with me to help formulate the questions. He tells me I should take, as is the custom, a little rice for Limnia, and on entering the house, I must scatter a few grains, unnoticed, on the floor.
text: Towards evening we climb down through the labyrinth of narrow streets to Limnia's house. She lives with her second husband and five children, the youngest scarcely a year old, and seems just like any other middle-aged Wakching woman. Shankok tells her that I have heard of her fame, and now I have come to (207) her because I want her to prophesy for me. I want to know if fate will grant me a safe and peaceful return journey to my own country, if all my relations are living and in good health, and lastly -- which to Shankok is the most important of all -- whether I shall soon find a wife. Limnia listens calmly and without saying : much. She only remarks that she will have great difficulty in reaching a land so far distant as mine.