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: birthplace of the Aos
medium: notes
person: Hutton
ethnicgroup: SangtamAoPhom
location: Chongliemdi (Chongliyemdi)
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 6:7
text: Attitude of Chongliyemdi is that these rather embarrasing members of the village are very 'touchy', they do not like stranger's eyes - they are liable to get violently angry if unduly inspected. Dec. & Jan. the villagers proposed that this should be open season - when even if the stones did get cross the only result would be a cold spell - the rest of the year the stones would be closed to strangers - if anyone came Rs 50/- fine - if a villager escorted him, he also Rs. 50/- fine. This seemed to me eminently reasonable and one of my last acts was to pass an order accordingly.
text: When Hutton went no damage done but there was heavy rain.
text: The Ao evangelist sneaked in one day when everyone was in the fields, did his sacrilegious work and full of holy glee went home.
text: It is as if the stones know which visitors respect them. Once every 5 years the Sangtam villagers of Chongliandi (Sangtam name) - Chongliyemdi (Ao) - sacrifice a large pig - at a distance of 4 fields from the stones in August - at the new moon - later only men will eat the pig - at the spot - not in their houses - women may on no account eat any of the meat - 'the spirits would be offended' - the 2 leaders of the sacrifice must abstain from women for 30 days - after the sacrifice. 6 days before the ceremony they spring-clean their houses - made modhu - from that day genna - from August to November no one may approach or view the stones - if so hail storm gales - spoil the crop - no Aos ever make pilgrimages to the spot or do puja at it - only Aos sprang from the stones, not Sangtams or Phoms - formerly 6 stones - the large fallen one is female.