The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-five. Farewell
caption: further dangers of carving forbidden objects
medium: books
person: Chinkak/ of Wakching
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: These two experiences should have put me wise, and warned me against persuading a man to carve objects linked with magical dangers. But my collection lacked a model of a coffin, and Chinkak, once more in need of money for opium, offered to carve me one. Angs' coffins are laid out on platforms like those of ordinary men, but they are carved at both ends with hornbill heads. Soon after Chinkak had brought me the finished coffin and received his reward, his five-year-old daughter fell ill, and died within a few days. Now it was necessary to make a child's coffin similar to the model Chinkak had carved for me, and there was not a soul in Wakching who doubted the fateful connection between the making of the model coffin and the child's sudden death.