The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: magic before head hunt, Ghawang called on
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 27.8.1936
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: The same rule of abstinence also has to be followed prior to a war excursion. When men go out on a head hunt they call upon Ghawang as follows to ensure success: "Ghawang let us meet men, boys and Angs". Their wives in the meantime are not allowed to go to the fields nor pound rice. They may only fetch water and wood. The houses of warriors however are genna for strangers. (234) But Ghawang is not only called upon in unusual circumstances but also again and again in daily life. At every meal first a bit of rice is put aside with the words "Ghawang eat first". This happens as I was explicitly told in the morning, midday and evening. When a chicken or pig is killed, again Ghawang receives his part with the same words.