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: rain-making ceremony
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami> Eastern
location: Cheswezumi (Chezwezumi)
date: 5.6.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Rain-making ceremony:
text: The Thevo doesn't do the rain-making ceremony. When rain is necessary the village chooses somebody who is willing to do it. It is a risky job, because if (26) it does not rain the rain-maker becomes poor. If it rains he becomes rich. Before anybody has drawn water, the rain-maker draws water from the village spring in a gourd. With this and a little piece of worm-wood he sprinkles the graves of a particular clan. Thenizumi has got two graves to be sprinkled, Pfesa-Chadumi has got only one. These graves belong to a particular clan. When a man of this clan died there comes a drought. The graves of this clan (Kapotsumi clan) are very taboo and can't even be touched. It is considered as a very good thing that this clan died out at Pfesa-Chadumi.
text: (27)
text: Chezwezumi.
text: There are two Thevos in the old village of Cheswezumi.
text: One of them is Saso, whose genealogy is as follows:
______________________________________Saso (Th.)
text: After Puchono the clan is called Puchonomi clan.
text: (28) When Chiro was Thevo the village was raided by enemies and destroyed. The inhabitants were dispersed, some went to other villages, some lived in the fields.Only Neyizo of the Pokrunomi clan, who seems to have been a great warrior, did not like to abandon the old village entirely and always kept a fire alive in a shelter made of branches. He pretended to have become by that a new founder of the village and later built a house on the side where the shelter had stood. The carved wooden heads on the front of this house are the symbols of the heads Neyizo had taken. The (29) upper khel of the village accepted him as Thevo, but it is said that he continued to go to war even when he was Thevo. He was succeeded by his son Zenuro, who died ten years ago. Zenuro's son Tepuchi or Tepuzi is Thevo now. Tepuzi knows hardly anything about the history of the Thevos of Cheswezumi.