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: morungs at Chintang
medium: notes
person: Angnao morung
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Chingtang (Chintang) Mon Chi (Chui)
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 4:14
text: Chintang. Konyak.
text: Angnao morung - carvings of elephants, leopards, leopard cubs, 4 monkeys, 2 heads - incised strips - the small log drum has protuberances on either side - 'ears' - this morung contains 2 clans - all the clans in Chintang are chota or niche - minor & inferior - therefore neither of the morungs is entitled to carve human figures - the 2 heads carved on a pillar in a corner are a symbol. In front of the Ang's house a circle of stones with a tree in the middle - the serrated pillar - 'the skeleton of a fish' is given to celebrate big pujas by the great Ang - (ie. Mon, Chui) 20 mithan or 30 buffaloes. Name of this type of post is chaosep. The festival is celebrated whenever a great Ang's eldest son becomes juan - ie. about 14 - this is one year after he has been given his warriors' tattoo. If the tattoo is given in June a head is necessary then after the harvest a new log drum and a head (only for the first son.) The post is the prerogative of the Ang but since 'a morung's for all' it is included in any morung attended by Ang clan members. No genna against carving a mithan, buffalo, pig, deer 'but they do not look as good as tigers, hornbills and elephants'. The 'companies' in a morung vie with each other in contributing a good carving to the morung. A question of 'company' prestige - 'the elephant is the king of the jungle. Next to him is the tiger, they are the Angs of the forest'. 'The hornbill is the Ang of the birds.'
text: 'There was a boy, Piyu, and a girl, Manlong. They were brother and sister. Their father was the same. The brother went to enjoy his sister. The girl let him take her. Night after night he slept with her in the girl's morung. Then her father said 'Who is your boy?' The girl: 'I have never seen him. He meets me at night.' Then the father said ' We must find out who he is. Tonight you must dip your finger in some ash and mark his face'. That night the boy slept with her in the girls' morung and as he lay with her she marked his face with a black streak. In the morning the boy went to the morung and everyone saw the mark. Then they said
text: 'A brother has enjoyed his sister'. Then they bound the boy and the girl. The boy they took outside the village and burnt to death on a path; and the girl they took the opposite way and she also was burnt to death. But as the lines of smoke went up, they made a single line. Then the villagers knew that although they were brother and sister, their hearts were indeed one. There clan was lowly and now it is no more'. Figures of loving couples are put up in 'upper class' morungs as illustrations of this myth.