The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three


Lendzim-ba genna; cow killed, chickens killed

medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Kongan
date: 28.12.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.11.1936-11.2.1937

translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes

person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
seealso: notebook ? p.69

(121) When I came to Lem-ang's house I noticed three ceremonial spears standing in front and I deduced from this that some genna was taking place. I had not guessed wrongly. Through the pitch-black central room I went to the platform where a gruesome sight was presented. A cow had obviously just been killed and skinned and now the entire steaming and bloodstained body was lying there and was being divided and chopped up by two young men. The intestines had already been taken out and were lying on a pile. In the meantime an old man made four little bundles from bamboo sticks, sugar cane and palm leaves which he tied together with a prickly creeper. All this was for the Lendzim-ba genna which is held today for the prospering of millet, maize and vegetables. Two weeks ago already the Li-rhem-ba had been held which is for the rice. The latter is supposed to be virtually identical with the Lendzim-ba.


After a while the bundles were put in front of the house of Lem-ang together with some leaves. (122) He appeared with two chickens which, with a green branch in his right hand, he held together by their legs. Now he was waving them with every sentence of a formula with the aid of which he was calling all produce of the fields from all directions (text Notebook 7 p. 67). Then he pulled the feathers off the chickens' necks and killed them with a pointed bamboo which he pushed through their necks. The blood was then sprinkled onto the bundles and leaves. Then he and the oldest man of the Chingha cut out the intestines of one of the chickens and read the oracle. Then they poured madhu onto the bundles from bowls made of leaves (see p. 69 of notebooks).


The cow had been bought by the two morungs, Chingha and Lingba, in fact with the rice which each household had given. One of the bundles remains in front of the house while the morung eldest puts the others onto the path to the fields and say: " May the fruits of the field, may the rice be good". Today is genna for the entire village. Finally we went on. It started to rain on our way to Wakching but soon it stopped again.