The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: scepticism about shamans and were tigers
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Namsang Sumniching
date: 17.3.1937
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: By coincidence I mentioned Lemang from Kongan and shamans in general. The gaonbura however turned out to be a great sceptic. (188) "All the thiba's tale of their wanderings in the land of the dead are lies. How can it be that a person is asleep here and his spirit is walking around. All that is a cheat. The thibas do not see anything differently from other people in their dreams but to take money, that is pleasant. Here Lemang gets two rupees, there he gets three, for that he doesn't mind telling people all kinds of lies".
text: Concerning my question whether the thiba really run around as tigers he gets even more heated. "How can a man turn into a tiger. Man is a human, tiger is tiger, pig is pig. Can a pig turn into a human being? No. How is a human then to turn into a tiger? All that is lies". Once a female shaman had told him that her tiger was in front of the village and he should watch out. He then took his rifle and had looked for the tiger. No sign of it could be found. All was deceit.