The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: notes on feasts of merit, high jumping and dragging of post
medium: diaries
person: Ahon
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 22.12.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.11.1936-11.2.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
seealso: notebook 4 p.121
text: In the afternoon come the Ang of Chi and Ahon. I take the opportunity to take notes on some details of the great Ang's feasts of merit. There are two, the Khem-rhak-bu and the Pong-wen-bu. For the former a slit drum is made and dragged into the Ang's house (khem drum. for details see notebook 4 p. 121). The Pong-wen-bu is usually held a year after the Khem-rhak-bu. On the day of the feast the Ang and his main wife have to stay at home in the company of a certain man of the Doalim clan. (110) All Angs of the neighbourhood and friendly villages come with their people and are entertained. Then the Chi boys perform a high jump over rattan ropes held by two men. Whoever falls or stumbles will die at war or in some other violent way. Then a 4-5 metre tall carved pole of red wood is set up at the genna place with the headstones in front of the chieftain's house. Its sides are apparently carved like the posts of the Ang houses and its upper end is finished off with several hornbill bird heads. The old men of the village drag it in while making the same dark sing-song as when they carried the coffin of an Ang. That is because this post represents the Ang. Before the post is set up they put a red chicken and a small dog into the dug hole and crush them with a post when this is put into the hole. The coffin of an Ang is also set up here and an entire house is built around the platform.