The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: the Ao god Lichaba and the origin of man
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Merangkong
date: 19.7.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-11.7.1936
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Now I steered the conversation towards Lichaba. Here too people believe that Lichaba made the earth and lives underneath it. One day of the year is kept 'amung' for him. A pig and a chicken are killed and the meat is put on a mountain called Punen-Tukung. Lichaba then comes and takes it. Here Lichaba is not considered identical with Lunkizungba as is the case in Chuchu Yimbang but the latter is a deity with different attributions. Lunkizungba lives in heaven and he has made the sky, the sun and the moon. Lunkizungba is like a human but takes the form of the wind. (117) The statement that he is like a human was possibly provoked by a 'leading question' of mine. At the beginning was Lunkizungba as wind, he was the first, then Lichaba made the earth. That is why at every sacrifice Lunkizungba is evoked first then Lichaba. Lunkizungba created mankind. That is what has been said since the earliest days, but how he actually did it is not known. Everything belongs to him, all property and the lives of all people. He sees everything and helps everyone and when you request something from him you get it but you cannot become rich by request. Apparently no special sacrifices are made for Lunkizungba but all sacrifices are held in his or Lichaba's name. Merangkong is mostly christian today so that the cult of these deities seems to be a thing of the past.