The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook one

caption: feasts of merit
caption: stone-dragging
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Kohima
date: 10.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: 6. Gedzinzu - (stone-drag) stone dragging
text: The first ceremonies are the same as for the preceding gennas. On the second day after the ceremonial eating of the Kemovos, the stone dragging takes place.
text: Already a year before a stone is chosen - the sacrificer touches it and then waits for what he will dream. If he dreams (40) of a man who has got a good name it is considered as a lucky sign, - if he dreams of a man with a bad name it is a bad sign, - also if he dreams of passing excrement.
text: If a man has bad dreams he looks for another stone - if he has good dreams he covers the stones with earth. There are always two, one for the man and one for the woman.
text: Before he covers it he sprinkles it with madhu and says "I want to drag you, keep well".
text: (41) The day on which the stones are dragged (Gedzinzu), the sacrificer and his wife eat in the morning then they go to the jungle where the stone is. He is dressed as for the Leizu and his wife wears a white cloth on her head too. All the other people of the whole village follow them to the jungle in ceremonial dress.
text: Then the sacrificer stands in front of his stone and his wife [in front] of hers. Ropes have been fastened to the stones the day before by careful, good men - only with their right hands. The sacrificer and his wife put leaf cups with madhu between the ropes and the stones. (42) Then the young men drag the stones to the place where they shall be erected.
text: On that day much meat and madhu is consumed in the sacrificer's house, - but none of the guests is allowed to take away any meat from this house.
text: On the second day, thereafter, all the young men build a stone platform around the dragged stone and pigs are killed for them (in the house).
text: Again after a time (2 or 3 weeks) all the villagers go to the sacrificer's fields.
text: (43) This Gedzinzu is usually repeated three times - with four stones, six stones, eight stones. Four times altogether is the complete series.
text: All the stones are put up in one line - and the female stones always in front of the male stones, - as the woman goes first when going with her husband, "because she is afraid".
text: (44) Nowadays no man goes further than to the completion of the four stone dragging gennas.
text: But in the old times there were two more gennas which very rich men could perform:
text: The first consisted in building a pond, the second in building a round stone platform (stone circle?).
text: Men who have completed the series of stone-draggings wear a cloth with special designs. He also puts on (45) the white stockings on ceremonial occasions.
text: All the animals killed at these gennas must be "spotless".
text: During the gennas the sacrificer must observe certain food gennas: he doesn't eat chicken.
text: When a man begins a genna he puts a pure (sic) cock into a cage. When the genna is over he kills it and eats first of it.
text: From the beginning of the genna, which is mostly done soon after (46) harvest the sacrificer does not have intercourse with his wife till the next sowing.
text: The sacrificer does not eat deer, barking [deer], serow, and wild pig for one year, - (till next harvest). After a man has done Zatsu he never again can eat small game, - as monkeys, jungle cat, crows and other small wild animals, - his wife has to observe the same restrictions.