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: reasons for carving house horns
medium: notes
keywords: zhatho genna
person: Chulevo Angami
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Khonoma Jotsoma
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 15:10
text: Khonoma - reason for no carvings and house horns.
text: It is due entirely to the over-high requirements for gennas or feasts of merit. In Khonoma even the first genna or chesa involves the slaughter of 12 to 13 cows and 4 to 5 mithan, and when accomplished, it merely qualifies a house owner to trim the thatch on the front portion of his house. The second and third gennas are repetitions of the first. They do not confer any privilages but merely enable the fourth genna to be performed. This genna is known as zhatho but since the preceding three will have already over-taxed a man's resources it has never been known to be performed. Even three gennas are so ruinously expensive that there is at present only one Naga of Khonoma, Chulevo Angami, who has actually performed them. Still further gennas would be necessary before mithan carvings would be allowed while house-horns represent an even more remote privilege. Even in Jotsoma where the requisite number of cattle and mithan is lower, mithan carvings and house horns are entirely absent and it is only among the Southern Angamis that they appear in any abundance.