The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: carrying in the head at Oting, dancing and ceremonial
caption: Longba performs ceremony when head arrives in the village
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
date: 28.2.1937
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: (108) Finally an older man starts an individual dance with the basket which holds the head to which he announces the fame of earlier war activities and also sings about capturing this head. The men gather again and now go up the steep steps to the village, singing and shouting wildly. The head is carried by a man who goes quite far to the back. Once arrived the men go through the wide gate-like opening in the strong fence and wait behind it. The basket with the head, however, is put into this opening and while all men are already in the village the Longba steps up to the head, throws an egg on it and then pours on madhu in concentrated form onto the basket. Then he speaks words which are supposed to bring the people from Pangsha, Chi, Chinkau and Tang here as well, or rather, their heads. The Longba is a man from Mon of the Lumiem clan who has been called especially for this genna. That is because the last member of the Lumiem clan in Oting died last year and now there is no one here who can perform the genna for bringing in a head. (109) Now the Longba receives leaf bowls of madhu from people of each clan and from each he pours a bit onto the head while speaking the same words, and then he throws the leaf to the ground. However, none of this is carried out in a solemn mood and when the Longba has to empty new bowls over the head, again and again he laughs and says that his back already hurts him from bending down so much. Finally the oldest men lower their daos over the head to which the Longba says: "We have met an enemy, an enemy has come". The old men now answer with: "He, He". Now the procession begins to move again and it now goes to the Ang's house amidst singing and shouting. One of the leaders of the chorus recounts the villages with which they were at war in former days, and the chorus replies with "Ha. Ha".