The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: problems of timing of festivals discussed
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 10.3.1937
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: (154) Wakching 10/3/1937
text: The actual cardinal problem of yesterday's consultation was only made clear to me today by Medzou. It ultimately goes back to a discrepancy between the lunar month and the sun year. The current month which finishes the day after tomorrow is the Tepili, that is the month in which usually the field huts, 'tep', are being built. But this time the month was so early on in the sun year that people were not ready yet with their work in the fields. The Tepili is usually followed by the Oulingli. Accordingly the next month would already be for the Oulingbu. Now this would bring problems on the one hand in respect of the not yet finished planting, on the other hand Wakching then would celebrate the Oulingbu in the same month as Chi and Totok which is not customary. These villages already have taken into account the calendar difficulties and have changed their Oulingbu to the following month. The latter point seems to be foremost in the considerations of the Wakching people. At least it made them aware of the problem.
text: (155) The solution which the gaonburas came to is as radical as it is reasonable. They indeed decided to have a second Tepili and to have the Spring Festival in the month after the coming one which then is the correct Oulingli. This solution also brings about that the field huts will be built during the Tepili. The genna question concerning the prohibition on selling and taking away animals apparently was only of secondary importance. It was decided that this genna should be kept up for another month. People of other villages like Chi, Totok or Wanching which bring animals to Borjan to be sold and move across Wakching land, give Wakching a chicken each as a penalty for breaking the genna, and it is eaten by the Neangbas.