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: drum house at Noksang
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Chang
location: Noksan (Noksang)
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 16:39
text: Chang - Noksang.
text: A drum house in another khel - 2 large tigers facing each other - 2 planks with rows of talking mainas heads 'so that the village may flourish like a flock of mainas' - hornbills carved + at top carved human heads - basket balls with 3 wooden heads - + 2 human skulls - head of drum is a tiger's head - straw tassels - (for paddy) - drums name is Longpha - (woman) (dictated in a dream). A house which had newly killed 2 mithan - a fence with 2 Y posts on which the 2 heads were exhibited - the whole house newly thatched - 4 hornbill heads like hockey sticks on the roof - 4 great shaggy tassels hanging in front of the porch - SKETCH
text: Furthest khel a drum with a python's head - and long upturned tongue 'because they had killed one' - in this khel - Mukse clan. (No Chang can eat python.) Carved hornbills - carved fish hanging from roof - 'to get fish when they go fishing' + little wooden slats = sprouting rice. A little parrot - 'because they killed one the day they made the slats'.
text: One drum with a buffalo head. One drum - 2 pythons, 1 human figure with erect organ horizontal, flock of mainas, 2 leopards - spot with tiger mark on back.
text: An entrance with a gate - puja at the gate in September - paken lampa - hunt - fowl offered for success in hunting - gate closed and heavily panjied in time of war. (Other villages entrances but no gates.) Upper Khel - log-drum with a carved deer's head as prow 'because there were many deer where we got it' - + deer's skulls offered - the drum is female - its name is Sakpi.
text: Outside the drum house a tall bamboo pole set up at Lem (harvest festival) - crescent moon at top - + lower down some circles = the sun + the brass disc on a lengta - (made of bamboo spaths) - 'We put it up now as the cold weather is coming' - ie. to call the sun back - and get good crops 'We put it up to get a good harvest' - the bamboo pole is cut down, after the sowing when the crop has sprouted - (ie. it has done its work - it has brought back the sun - its own suggestive length has pulled the crops up). The pole is a sort of transmitter of one harvest to the next - on some a model aeroplane - 'because one flew over this year'