The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: burning of new fields , rice planting
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
date: 2.3.1937
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
seealso: notebook 10,p.41
text: As already mentioned this year the people of Oting are late burning off their fields because of the rain. The day on which the new fields are burnt off is called Wenyokni. Strangely enough they plant their millet on the same day. When they return from the fields then at night new fires are lit in all hearths. Now matches are universally used even for this ceremonial lighting. No genna words are spoken and it does not matter whether man or woman lights the fire. A month later the red rice is planted on the same fields as the millet. The millet grows much faster and is already harvested in July. This then gives the rice enough space to grow (See notebook 10 p. 43).
text: The genna for the first rice planting is called Dzatambu and is in general the equivalent of the Hashambu of Shiong. All people share the Yimdong areas (119) on their fields for the white rice which is eaten at ceremonies. Only four men, the Ang, the morung Ang of the Longshai, another man of the Ang clan and the Yemba set up a little square of wood and sticks within the Yimdong and there put up little fish and some white rice on sticks. Then they plant rice in the Yimdong. (Notebook 10 p. 41). In Oting there is no genna for taro just as there is no genna to protect the houses against fire.