The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-seven. Return to Nagaland
caption: visit to see the old interpreter, Chingai
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: One of the most heart-warming experiences of my stay in Mon was the visit to Chingai of Oting, the veteran dobashi who thirty four years earlier had been my constant companion on my visits to Oting, Longkhai, and other villages of the Thendu group. He had clearly prospered and now occupied a modern bungalow in the district headquarters. Chingai had put on weight and his hair was grey, but he had lost none of his cheerfulness, and his rise to a respected position in the new administration had not made him pompous. Though he wore some modern clothes, he still sported a brass pendant consisting of four heads such as used to be worn by head-hunters.
text: There was no sign of his Konyak wife whom I knew from Oting, and I did not dare to ask about her, for Chingai had a new and attractive Ao wife, and three sons and two daughters from that marriage. His new wife was a teacher, and she and the children all spoke English. Chingai was delighted to see me, and his wife said how often he had spoken about me. Chingai acted not only as a valuable middleman between the administration and the villages where he had influence, but seemed to engage also in various profitable business enterprises. His house was well furnished in western style; and his sons and daughters had received a modern education.
text: Chingai/ of Oting