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 Lungkam
caption: house carvings and feasts of merit
medium: tours
person: Chamtiba/ of Lungkam
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Lungkam
date: 2.2.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 31.12.1946-14.2.1947
text: Carvings on private houses are, as elsewhere, linked to feasts of merit, but I noticed only two houses which actually possessed them. I was told that following the mithan sacrifice, it was formerly the custom to erect a central pillar and two side ones. The latter contained carvings of snakes and (56) goats. Nowadays however only the central pillar is erected and in the house of Chamtiba, it contained a mithans' head, a human head, a tiger face downwards then human breast and finally at the extreme top two hornbills.
text: A similar procedure is followed for carvings in the morung, except that seven pigs are killed.
text: After the mithan sacrifice a warrior can wear a painted band with mithan heads added to the design.
text: As in Sema villages the bamboo supports of the house as well as the bamboo water vessels are all marked with streaky lines if their owner has performed the mithan sacrifice.