The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary five

caption: a feast of merit now abandoned
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 8.4.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.4.1937-26.6.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: By coincidence we then came to talk about something I had never heard before. Apparently there exists a feast of merit which however no one holds any more nowadays. Only the oldest men still have seen such feasts called 'Mauba'. (28) Primarily they required that a man should invite and feed people of all five morungs for which occasion he killed a mithan or buffalo. With this feast he gained the right to decorate his house front with carved posts as otherwise is done only by people of the Ang clan. In addition he was allowed to wear a string of blue beads below the knee like the Ang people. Furthermore the feast was connected to the erection of a stone seat. Along the Oukheang path below the village there still is supposed to be such a flat stone. However this feast had dangerous consequences. If the son of a man who has held it cannot come up with the needed costs for it the household became impoverished within a short time. Across from Shankok's house there is in a slightly elevated position the house of the last man who has given a 'Maubu'. His son could not hold the feast and soon the family was completely impoverished. For that reason Shankok's father despite all his wealth resisted the temptation of holding this feast.