The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary one

caption: land of the dead, shamans and deities
medium: diaries
person: Sho-bong
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 1.9.1936
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: it came out that Sho-bong is a Hiba (shaman) and that he goes to the land of the dead in his dreams. There it is just like in Nagaland here on earth. The people live in villages and grow rice, they marry and have children. If one is an Ang here one will be an Ang there and a Ben man remains a Ben man in his next life as well. However Sho-bong also sees Hagang, that is Ghawang, in his dreams, the sky deity. (250) He is white "like a sahib", has a long beard and on his chest grows hair 10-15cm. long in the shape of two crossed sashes. He is dressed in a single, completely white cloth. A white cloth also covers his hair. A servant lives with him who is dark like a Naga. Hagang lives in a big house with many storeys. Steps lead up to it and it is completely white and pure. Apart from Hagang, his servant and Hagang's big dogs, no one lives in Hagang's house.
text: Hagang's house is all by itself. There is no village nearby (notebook 4 p. 65 following). In the ground live a large number of Hashis or Gashis men and women, they look just like the Nagas. Furthermore Sho-bong spoke about two villages which have powerful Angs, one in a village in the east, the other in a village in the west. Only the shamans can see them. These Angs rule over the fate of men. At night many 'hibas' and 'hinins' meet in their dreams and go to these villages.