The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary two

caption: wood carvings made to cure sickness, magic spells
medium: diaries
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: Kun-ba first carved four of the rough wooden figures already described. Then he laid them between the door of Chinyang's house and tied some leaves to them. Over that he killed a chicken so that the blood ran over leaves and figures. To that he mumbled "your words must return, Leangha's, Chui's, Mon's words must return". This refers to the magic spells of the Ang of one of these villages who are said to have caused the illness. Then he pierced the figures with a spear and hit them with his dao. Chinyang's clan relatives then stuck small shafts into chest, head, eyes and ears of the figures. Then Kun-ba carried one of them to the genna place of the Aug-kheang morung on the path outside the village while two were hung up under the roof and one was buried near the hearth. (58) Whenever Chinyang has a meal he first gives Ghawang and then these figures some rice with the words "Ghawang you eat first, who has said my name eat first" which again refers to those who have made him ill by speaking his name in a magic spell.