The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook one

caption: Thevo, or village priest, of the Eastern Angamis
caption: village founding; insanity
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami> Eastern
location: Chakhabama
date: 3.6.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (10) 3/6/1936
text: Path from Chakabama to Cheswezumi
text: Informant: Thevoni
text: The Thevo (sic) is the founder of the village. He selects the site and says: Here shall be my house. The office remains in his clan. If his clan becomes extinct in his village, a man of his clan of another village may be elected. In want of older men of the Thevo's clan even a little boy may become Thevo. If the clan of the original Thevo dies out completely, the office goes to the clan of the co-founder of the village, ie. the clan of the friend of the first Thevo, who founded the (11) village with him.
text: Only a man who is physically perfectly fit can be elected as Thevo. No cripple can be appointed.
text: But a Thevo who gets ill or even insane cannot be replaced. Even if he is too ill or too old to leave his house he still acts as Thevo. In this case the shares of meat are sent to his house, and the oldest man of his clan goes to eat in the houses of men who perform sacrifices. If there is no grown up man of his clan even a little boy may do this ceremonial eating.
text: The Thevo must by no means desert his village, as all the prosperity would go with him.
text: (12) The Thevo is under special restrictions (v. p. 15, 3) for a period which is called seven years, but is in reality only seven harvests. This period ends after the millet harvest in the fourth year of his function. They call the time from the rice harvest to the millet harvest a year to shorten the time of the restrictions.