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: Lhota morungs
medium: notes
person: Tembothen khelSerengtheng khel
ethnicgroup: Lhota
location: Rephyim Yekhum
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 4:10
text: Lhota Morungs.
text: Long narrow buildings - many of them abandoned dormitories - possessing only 2 carved pillars - at the entrance. SKETCH
text: No domestic carving - the hornbills and mithan heads very roughly hewn - very simplified - sometimes only a large lozenge - with serrated edges. Lhotas hardly any interest in art.
text: For carving the pillars no special care or worship - the tree is not regarded as particularly dangerous.
text: The more carving there is, the greater sense of art and all its implication. cf. Konyak.
text: Rephyim (Lhota). Morungs in very good condition - neat little cubicles down either side - ashes of fires in the middle.
text: Tembothen Khel - the 2 main pillars, front - male, back - female. 4 hornbills on each - reduced to serrated lozenges - edges of the pillars with little serrations. Sleeping in the morung compulsory for all unmarried boys. (Girls, in parents' house.) When a morung remade the puchi hangs the fowl on the female pillar.
text: Yekhum. Each morung has 2 carved pillars, one behind the other at the entrance - the first is 'male', the second is 'female'. The genitals however are not shown though the front pillar of the Serengtheng's Khel has a little wooden wedge like an erect penis jutting out from between the 2 beaks of 2 hornbills. 'When the morung is made, men and women all come, so from shame we do not put the genitals or carve a boy and girl.' In Yekhum 2 morungs have hornbills carved beak to beak on the 2 pillars and 1 morung had mithan heads. The subject is determined by ancestral choice and usage. Once a morung has hornbills carved it always carves them and nothing else. The choice of subject is not affected by clans - all Lhota clans are on a parity - dist. Konyak. Lhotas do not carve tigers, leopards, elephants or human beings. A potso in the morung - heads first brought to it - tigers brought there.