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: morung carvings at Kotsenyu, deities and dreams
medium: notes
keywords: AnizaAsakiAchampoAtza-angAsuAi-wangenna burha
ethnicgroup: RengmaAngami <Northern
location: Kotsenyu
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 4:11
text: Rengma - Kotsenyu.
text: The carvings are made on the morung pillars - to incite the morung members to imitate the big men of the village ie. to take heads and kill mithan.
text: The names of deities = those in Northern Angami language.
text: The Khel sacred stones are buried inside each morung - therefore women cannot go - 'Women used to go to the morung. Then the warriors' always lost in war and killed no animals. After that women were banned from going there'. The morung as centre of magical energy.
text: 3 morungs. 1 - 3 carved pillars, 2 - 2 carved pillars, 3 - 1 carved pillar.
text: Aniza - in sky - good.
text: Asaki - in the world (the spirit of the chase) - good.
text: Achampo - guardian spirit attends in house - comings and goings - good.
text: Atza-ang - may be a boulder, tree, stream - anywhere - bad.
text: Asu - source of wealth (spirit of the crops) - good.
text: All evil come from Atza-ang.
text: Offering to all five jointly - that the village may prosper, boys and girls increase, all the crops be good.
text: Ai-wan - the spirit which guides and aids head-takers - a separate offering in the morung for heads or victory in war.
text: When a head taken to the head tree, offered to Asu and Asabi and asked to give good crops and game.
text: The genna burha chooses a tree for the pillar tested by dreams:
text: a headless man - bad
text: killing a wild animal - good
text: a woman or her private parts - bad
text: intercourse - bad
text: (if taken after the last 2 dreams, men of the morung will get wounds.)
text: At time of cutting a hen and cock sacrificed to the tree - in the name of Atza-ang - to avert ill. (Atza-ang similarly appeased when stones are dragged.) In the morung one or two are better cutters than the others, but all can cut and help - the final carving is by the best cutters. The genna burha is genna at the cutting of the tree and the setting up of the pillar.