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: Tamlu morung carvings
medium: notes
location: Tamlu
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 4:38
text: Tamlu
text: Lower morung.
text: Centre posts - tiger and elephant.
text: cross-boards - black and brown monkeys, hornbills.
text: The huge hall very gloomy - smell of stale urine - a post carved in shape of globular forms. 'A pile of pots. Everyone uses pots and feeds from them'. SKETCH
text: All the carvings were done when the morung was rebuilt 16-17 years ago - no gennas were observed for the carving work but a day's genna by the whole morung on the day when the building itself was dismantled and remade - for each carving, 5-6 men went to the forest, cut a tree and roughed it into shape. It was then dragged up and the final carving done in the morung itself. On the morung genna day, a buffalo preferably - otherwise cows and pigs are to be killed. They are not offered and no blood smeared on the carvings. More a feast to celebrate the rebuilding than a ritual appeasement.
text: Choice of subject is determined by morung rivalries -
text: 'Morungs compete through their carvings'. A morung shows its superiority by the number and variety of its carvings. 'We bring all wild animals into the morung and head them with a tiger and elephant'. 'We carve a tiger and an elephant so that our enemies may know that all the young men are fierce as tigers and as strong as elephants'.
text: Upper morung