The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook three

caption: the ceremonies and ritual in social gennas at Chui
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
date: 12.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 8.1936-6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Name of the social gennas:
text: 1. Kam-hrak-bu: a log drum is made and 12 or 13 mithan are killed.
text: 2. Pong-wen-bu: is made after a year, 40-50 mithans, cows and buffaloes.
text: (63) there is an interval of some years
text: 3. is again Kam-rhak-bu (sic), like the first.
text: 4. Pong-wu-bu
text: These ceremonies are only made by the Angs, and only very rich Angs. The Ang kills all his animals and invites (by messengers) the friendly neighbouring villages, above all Chi's colonies - Wanching, Wakching, Chingphoi, Chingtang, Chinglong, Shiong, Chongwe, Yungya, Nian, Mon, Tang, Chen, Choha, Hangnyu, Sangnyu, Hanching, Yoting, Zakkho, Nganting, Longkhai, Hungphoi, Wangla, Punkhung, Tanhai, Kongon, Yong-am, Mohong, Longmien, Longshan, Hang-ha, Nia-shen, Hang, Tangten, Wamha, Shembang, Longwa Nokuu. Of all these villages only: Chi, Mon, Tang, Hang alias Shengha, Longsham, Longwa Nokuu, Longa, Rhau-dzu, Kondzu, Pomau, Niam-dzu, Wan-kem, Sho-nina, Yan-dzu, Yan-ha, Lu-dzu (Zu-nin), Dza-nu, Ni, Lanu.
text: (64) First day:
text: In the morning one pig and one chicken is killed by a special clan (Do-lim) in the jungle at the tree chosen for the drum, and cook them in the jungle. On this day they fell the tree and then make the drum as fast as possible. Then on the fifth day of the month they drag the drum in. The Do-lim clan will give meat and drink to the drum and say [konyak]. (65) Then rice-beer is prepared and the mithans and buffaloes are caught and fastened outside the Ang's house all on one post. Then he sends word to all the villages and then all the Angs of the mentioned villages and their suites arrive. When the guests come they begin to kill the mithans. The Do-lim clan kill the animals. The legs of the mithans are given to the guests, who take them with them to their villages. The mithans are killed with spears and apparently (66) without any words pronounced.
text: The guests eat all in the Ang's house. The Great Angs eat together (with the Ang of Chi), the Small Angs, and the common people eat at different places.
text: The guests arrive all on the same day, but not at the same time. As soon as they arrive they are fed.
text: Each village occupies one compartment in the Ang's house. The men of each village first dance separately in front of the Ang's house. At night they dance with the girls of Chui.
text: The next morning they return to their villages. (67) On the day the guests leave the men of the village go to the jungle and cut trees for the forked posts. These posts are set up at the "genna place" near the Ang's house. On the day these posts are erected the men cook the heads of the mithan and eat them. After erecting the posts they pour a little madhu on each of the posts. [konyak] The mithan heads remain in the Ang's house. (68) Then the people of Chi and Lem go to the Ang's fields and there one mithan is killed for their meal.
text: Pung-wen-bu:
text: At first the morung boys are taught to dance for three days (without giving them drink), then another three days where they are given madhu. Then on the seventh day the other villages (the same as at []) arrive and are feasted. At this feast still more mithans, about 40 or 50, are killed. The guests are (69) feasted only one day.
text: Posts are erected and the people work on the Ang's fields exactly as at Kam-rhak-bu.
text: (The drums remain in the Ang's house.)
text: The Kam-rhak-bu can be repeated and so can Pung-wen-bu.
text: At all these feasts the real wives of the Ang give orders to the Ben wives and servants about the preparing of rice beer. (70) Villages where the Angs also give these feasts of merit: Mon, Joboka, Yanha, Yannyu, Lu-nin (Zu-nyu), Ngoa-nu, Chob-nu, Cha-nu, Shonyong, Pumau, Nau-nu, Han-niu, Ko-niu, Lanu.
text: (71) First day:
text: The fortune-teller (Pong-ba) says which tree shall be taken for the drum. Then he finds, by means of an omen with banana leaves, a man of any clan, but good family, - father and mother must be alive - who shall first cut the tree. He first spears the tree and then cuts it with the dao, "like an enemy". [konyak] (72) After the felling of the tree some old men kill a chicken and sprinkle the blood on the tree, and they [say] the same words.
text: The next day an old man of any clan kills a pig, again near the tree. They put the feathers of the chicken and the skull of the pig upon the remaining trunk of the tree. The meat is eaten by all the men.