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: Yimchungr deities and death
medium: notes
keywords: asilimTembetimbuRitsabaYungpuChizing
ethnicgroup: Yimchungr
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 16:22
text: Asilim - the village of the dead founded by the first ancestors - the soul that in its lifetime stayed in the body goes there after death. The other souls all turn into insects, snakes or animals (see list) 'but which into which they do not know' -
text: On day of death the funerary ceremonies are performed - pigs, cattle killed - a medium (diviner) is questioned - is the dead man still here or has he gone to asilim? - sleeps - in the morning gives an answer - the medium replies that in a dream he has gone with the dead - the dead of his clan came to meet the dead man - shared in the funerary feast - then they escorted him to the village of the dead - [no case known in which the medium says he could not find or see them.]
text: If a man's head is taken by his enemy or if a man dies any apotia death, his personal soul goes to asilim but for 3 days and nights it is not admitted - it lingers at the village gate - after that it is taken in.
text: Supreme god:
text: 1. Tembetimbu - not worshipped - supreme & aloof cf. Ao - Yihoba.
text: 2. Rizaba - in sky cf. Lichaba (Ao) (Rezaba) Ritsaba - worshipped at time of cutting Kuni dhan - cf. if no rain, worshipped - Ritsaba affects ordinary life. Death - bodies whether men or women are buried under the house - once buried they are left - the skull is not dug up - if however the house gets old and has to be remade, the skeletons are dug up and consigned to the jungle - and a new house is made on the site - for 5 days after the death a little rice and modhu is offered to the dead in the house and also in the fields he last cultivated - for 5 days a fire is kept burning over the grave. Yimchungr festivals: Yungpu - Jan-Feb. Chizing - feb.