The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: wooden figures used to cure illness
medium: diaries
person: Chinyang
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 20.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-11.7.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (56) Towards evening I went with Chinyang to his house. He had promised to show me the wooden figures which he had used for the magic to cure a bad illness. Under his roof close to the door hangs a bundle which one would not have noticed in among all the other things which hang there such as the leaf bundles from gennas etc. It contains two about 20cm. long human figures, very roughly carved, without arms or recognisable legs as well as a piece of wood of the same length and kind. In addition there are some dried up leaves tied to it. Little pointed wooden splinters are stuck into chest and head of the figures. A similar figure is buried near the hearth but so close to the surface that Chinyang only had to just slightly loosen the earth a bit in order to show me this one too. As soon as it rots away it is replaced by a new one. Next to the fairly new one we still saw the remains of the old.