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: death rituals
medium: notes
keywords: bihucist
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Chingtang (Chintang)
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 9:13
text: Konyak. Chintang. In hot weather 9 days, in cold 15-16. Skull is taken off - brought to the house - cleaned - put out in the sun to dry - fed with rice and pork and the same afternoon put in a cist and taken to the forest. 'A man has 2 souls. One goes straight to the country of the dead. The other lingers in the house until the skull is taken to the forest. So long as it is in the house, a little food is set apart. If it is eaten in the night, the dead has accepted it. After that at every Bihu for 4 or so years, a little pork is put in the cist. The second soul goes with the skull to the forest and dwells in it. The skull is set gazing at the village. At the third bihu it is turned round and made to face the forest. After that it leaves the cist and goes to Yimpu. So long as the skull is on the corpse, the people of the house if they go hunting will kill nothing. If they go fishing they will catch none. The day before the skull (sic) 6 boys of the dead man's clan go and catch a fish and the skull is fetched and fed with it. ' We have given you your food. Give us no trouble. Stay in peace'.