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: the funeral or burial ceremony
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
location: Yoting
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: In the house of death there was wailing and chanting, and the beating of gongs. Finally, some girls carrying vases with flowers came out of the house, and they were followed by four old men dressed only in belt and apron and carrying the bier with the corpse covered with a red cloth. Another man carried a dead dog, and another three dead chickens. These animals were to be buried with the dead woman presumably to accompany her to the land of the dead, in which both adherents of the old faith and Konyak Christians believe. The pastor, carried a prayer book, and the other mourners followed the bier. When the procession arrived at the grave there was further beating of gongs and chanting, and then the corpse was placed into a wooden coffin, which was immediately nailed up. Then the coffin was slid into the open grave, and the dog and chickens were thrown in too. The pastor read a prayer from his book, and then the grave was closed and the flowers were put up on a bamboo stand.