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: Sangtam village gates
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Sangtam
location: Chongtore Holongba (Holungba) Phire-Ahire (Phire)
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 5:13
text: Sangtam - the village gate - Chongtore.
text: Annual worship - the lych gate is repaired - the 2 oldest men of the village take a cock - pluck a few feathers 'Tsungrangre may our crops be good. May we kill many animals. Keep out all trouble. Let nothing ill come through this gate'. They then kill the cock by dashing its head against the post of the gate - any blood that issues is smeared on the cock's basket - before cooking the fowl they take out the intestines - from this they judge the coming year, good or bad. Then they cook and eat the cock - put the basket & the pot on the lych-gate. The wing feathers and intestines put in the basket & 5 bits of flesh from the breast & a bit of liver tied up in a packet and put in the basket also.
text: If a boar or any wild animal is killed by a tiger, its flesh can be eaten but its skull cannot be put on the wall of a house but must be hung at the gate.
text: In Holungba at the annual repairing in August sharp bamboo spikes and sheed (sic) bamboo stems driven in on both sides of the gate - to keep away evil spirits - (athumyi).
text: In Chongtore - massive sliced trunks driven in - 'so that our enemies may see them from a distance & know we have many strong men'.
text: Making a gate (thakam - Sangtam word) Can only be installed in August - no other time - any villagers can fell the tree, cut it, shape it & bring it - no gennas - no appeasement of the tree. Most gates are now left open propped to one side eg. Phire, Chongtore.
text: 'The gate is younger brother of the drum - Tsungrangre is in both'.
text: No other worship - heads not offered at the gate - gate not carved - usually standing on its side in the lych gate.