The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook two

caption: role of the Kemovo, village priest of the Angamis
caption: the goddess, Ukepenopfu
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Kohima
date: 23.6.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 23.6.1936-6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Ukepenopfu - a female goddess, lives in heaven. Nothing can be hidden before her. She brought forth mankind. When a genna is made it is made in her name. The Kemovo looks up to the sky and addresses her. Ukepenopfu makes thunder and lightning.
text: (10) Some people believe that men go to Ukepenopfu, - especially if there is a hole in the grave. Ukepenopfu never does any harm to men.
text: When rice-beer is made and when the yeast is put into it, it is forbidden by Ukepenopfu to put a spoon into it. If a man does it he will be killed.
text: Ukepenopfu was never married.
text: (11) When the Kemovo is elected he gets one terrace field from the khel he lives in.
text: If a man does not want to be Kemovo his clansmen can force him.
text: The Kemovo does the Te-Kuo (heaven power) (rain-making) genna. He announces a general penna (genna). (12) "Call Ukepenonphu. I do not want bad things. In the great distance voice I want. The good things may come to us, to make everything in the house be good. We killed very clean, good things in your name. Your meat be cut and may be doubled. Your meat should be like the hills of white ants. (13) May it take as long and it be hard to cut it up a big tree-trunk. When meat will be given to all the village, and what remains should fill all your house and it should be distributed to all the neighbourhood. Also your madhu should come out like a spring, and like a river. It should not be finished. Your rice-beer given all the village, the village, the remainder should be distributed any (14) as you want. All your tame animals should grow inside and outside of the house. Whoever lives on your house-site should become old and be rich and wise, and his sib should become []. And your seeds given to the good large earth, should grow very strongly and it should be all over the stones and woods. Today is the day to begin to be very lucky, by the grace of Ukepenopfu, and your relatives should be just as good". (15) Ukepenopfu is the head men of the tehumas, he makes our lives, tehumas could not do anything without Ukepenopfu. Ukepenopfu is female.
text: One god (tehuma) came to men and said to the men "The earth is like our mother, and heaven is a father - between these Ukepenopfu has borne us. She brought forth men without a husband".
text: (16) If a man dies the spirit will not be lost - but where it lives cannot be said.
text: Kemovo thinks lightning is made by tehumas.
text: "If our dreams are good it shows that Ukepenopfu is pleased - if they are bad that she is angry".