The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: planting ceremony in the fields
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Shiong
date: 16.2.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 12.2.1937-31.3.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: I leave the dancers and as the actual ceremony does not yet start I go to the near fields with Ahon in order to get an 'in situ' explanation of the planting ceremonies. A large area below the village has been cleared and is now ready to be planted. So far there is no field hut and burnt-out trunks stick out of the ground, but on some fields single spots have been separated. On them the rice for certain ritual ceremonies is planted. Every man makes these divisions only on one of his fields. On a flat place four wooden sticks, (16) each about 50cm. long, define a square in which there is a small basket inverted over a stick of the kind used for carrying chickens. The chickens' feathers are stuck into the ground. On this space the "khundra", the first rice, was planted and a chicken was sacrificed. A much larger border of roughly circular form shaped from burnt thin trunks or thick branches encloses this square and a space which is called "Ghimdzong". Apart from this "ghimdzong" there are two similarly defined spots on the field and for certain occasions such as for example the Lai-pham-bu, rice from these parts is used for ceremonies.