The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript tour diary of W.G. Archer, S.D.O. Mokokchung 1947

caption: visit to Choio
caption: derelict morungs through lack of 'puthi' and the installation of a new 'puthi'
medium: tours
keywords: puthiopyapyotsoja
person: Yankasao/ of Choio
ethnicgroup: Lotha
location: Koio (Choio)
date: 30.1.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 31.12.1946-14.2.1947
text: In Choio, itself, there were formerly three morungs but for the last ten years they have been only derelict hulks.
text: The ceremonies which attended the installation of the new puthi caused a great deal of excitement in the village because it had been without a priest for so long. A villager first killed a dog. They did not however cut off its ears and the carcass was merely thrown outside the village. The next day a party of men and youths went to the forest and cut a log about eight feet high and one foot wide. This is known as 'opya'. They trimmed a side flat and sloped away the top. Then they dragged it to a field below the village and set it in the ground, the smooth face looking to the houses. All the party had brought food and drink in the bamboo tubes and baskets which they had newly made that week. A fowl was then killed and at a signal from the puthi, all the men and boys hurled bamboo spears at the post. Many spears were feathered like arrows and the 'opya' was still bristling with them when I went and viewed it.
text: The villagers have now to perform a ceremony called pyotsoja. Mills states that this is in honour of the godling of rivers and during its course a little poison is pounded into the stream in order that the villagers and the puthi may catch some fish. The poison is known as 'ritso' and the puthi asked me to obtain a permit from the Deputy Commissioner so that the villagers might use it.