The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: dragging of stones and ceremony performed by the Longba
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
date: 1.3.1937
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: Soon after midday the young people of both morungs drag a stone each to the tree in front of the Ang's house. These stones are rather narrow and not quite a metre high. They are being carried on strong poles with some cross sticks which allows several boys to carry them. The young men put the stones under the tree and then wait for the Longba and the older men. But these are still sitting in the Dingdong morung and are in no hurry to rush down to the Ang's house. But when finally they set out and come to the genna place with the stones, the young men have left and the following ceremony is only observed by a few older men. At first the Longba digs two small holes with his dao next to the stones already standing. Then he prepares some small bamboo sticks and moves them (116) across the basket with the head which has now been taken off the tree. To that he murmurs: "Yechileo" several times which means as much as, "I cut off", referring to the formally cutting off of ears and lips from the enemy's head. Then he throws the sticks into one of the holes, pulls the stone to the hole and sets it uprights. After setting up the other stone as well, he ties oblong jungle leaves (la-mei) to each of them. A beautiful cock and a small piglet already lie in preparation.
text: The Longba now first takes the cock, cuts open his beak so that blood starts flowing, and hits his head several times against the stones until the leaves are sprinkled with blood. To this he is saying words which are supposed to bring the men and women of Pangsha, Chi, Tang, Hangnyu and Chen (Notebook 10 p. 39-40)