The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: stars; celts
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Shooting Stars
text: Shooting stars are said to be stars "looking for a wife", "going to get married" or merely changing their places because they don't like them. Kacharis say they are "going to look for tarkari", i.e. food.
text: Star = Heigi.
text: The Pleiades are called NCHACHIKILEONA, which means "Girls in the dekachang."
text: Orion's Belt is called a NKAMTSA, "the Door-Closers" from NKAM=door and TSA=close. They are three people guarding the door of the dekachang where the girls (see above) are. They are predominant in the sky at about the same time.
text: The Milky Way is called "Mbeotapu", the name given to the Barak river. See Hutton, Angami Nagas, p.412; the account is exactly the same as that give me by Namkia.
text: Celts (q.v.) are also said to be left by stars falling to the earth. The lightning is the flash of the star's arrival; the celt comes before the flash, the point of attack, so to speak, and the star returns to heaven and leaves the celt. (See full note on Celts).