The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: house carvings
medium: notes
keywords: feast of merit
person: Nehoizu
ethnicgroup: Sema
location: Sakhalu Yehimi
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 15:8 Sema.
seealso: Hutton, Sema Nagas, 48 & 227-8
text: Sakhalu. Chief's house - rows of breasts - 6 in a line - many mithan heads - also a head - the latter after completing all the gennas (possible only if actually taken one) + a carving of a wild dog
text: (See Hutton, Sema Nagas p. 48 carving of a dao holder.
text: Yehimi. House of Nehoizu (chief) 2 houses - one for senior wife - central post - one carved mithan head.
text: One for junior wife, central post - a tiger descending on a mithan head.
text: 'The tiger kills mithan. It is their greatest foe. A man who kills a mithan is like a tiger. That is why the tiger is there'.
text: In Yehimi - the feasts of merit are:
text: 1. itilomishiki - 1 cow or bull.
text: 2. shikusho - 3 pigs.
text: 3. aphikusa - 2 pigs 3 cows.
text: 4. avikukho - at least 1 mithan.
text: (NB. different tariffs and even different names in different villages - compare this list with Hutton's at p. 227-8).
text: When the feasts are all completed can put up a carved centre pillar. Nehoizu did this in 1940. He first went to the forest with some of the villagers and chose a tree. He then offered a cock, an egg and some rice beer and addressed the tree's spirit. 'Do no harm. May all be well'. After that the tree was felled, shaped and carved. On the day of installation, a pig was killed but its blood was not smeared on the post. Throughout the period no one was genna.