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: maintenance and decay of morungs
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyaks
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1970
text: In Wakching too the morung had all been maintained, and two which had been destroyed in a recent fire had been rebuilt according to the old pattern. But there the carvings of men, animals, and various symbols on posts and cross-beams were inferior to those which had perished. As it can hardly be assumed that the incidence of artistic talent had suddenly diminished, one can only conclude that less effort is being spent on the decoration of houses than a generation ago. This reflects the decrease in the social importance of the Konyak morung Previously the village was the most important political unit, and within the village the men's houses were the focal points of social and ritual activities. In 1970 the morung were still the principal exogamous units and their members co-operated in some economic activities, but the political structure of a village based on the close interaction of the morung had largely been replaced by different and wider alignments.