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: Wakching morungs
medium: notes
keywords: Shongnyu Ka'wangKa'shi
person: Angpang morungPala morungPalang morungAukeang morungThepong morung
location: Wakching Kongan (Kongon)
date: 6.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 4:16
text: Wakching.
text: The Ang's house is entitled to many carvings - but the Angpang morung is not.
text: Pala and Palang morung - has higher clans therefore can include as many carvings as they like plus any themes.
text: Aukeang and Thepong - these are lower clans & are debarred from including carvings of men and women. About 30 years ago Thepong morung made a great frieze of carved men going in a line with guns - after they had put it up, an epidemic carried off a large number of the morung members. They believed it was due to the breach of rule - so they took the frieze down and threw it away. Of the heads taken by them - a sign that the morung once had heads - carvings 7 years ago - 5 men in the village know how to carve.
text: The other morung burnt down in 1946 and will be remade after this year's harvest. A carver cannot make a carving if his wife is pregnant - no one whose wife is pregnant may approach the place of carving, if he does the carving will be spoilt. The carvers will also refrain from sex for the period of the carving and not mix or eat with anyone not of their family.
text: Offer a fowl at the tree before carving & say 'May our children increase. May everyone flourish and be well. May we get pig and deer in the hunt. May we take our enemies heads'. Shongnyu Ka'wang - the spirit of the wooden pillar/post - 'Shongnyu Ka'wang nang wum nang wa ne sha ta pu we Ke'wang of the tree we have come to do you worship' - Ka'wang = good. Ka'shi = evil spirit. Ka'wang lives in the sky but is the source of every good. Ka'shi lives in the earth and is the source of disasters and ill - is placated at times of illness. If crops bad a pig is sacrificed to both ie. to Ka'wang and also to Ka'shi.
text: At Wakching I saw a pig offered in June 1947 the crops were all right - but Kongon had brought the bit of head through the fields and there had been an apotia death (a man had fallen from a tree) therefore to purify the village and avert disaster the pig offered.
text: Ka'shi - a genna term - dangerous spirit - in pools, trees, stones - all are 'Ka'shi' - all benevolent forces are Ka'wang.
text: A household shows that it is observing a genna by tying fresh green leaf to both posts at its entrance.