The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook three

caption: shamans or medicine men and healers among Konyaks and Aos
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: KonyakAo
date: 26.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 8.1936-6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: When a man is ill the thibu is called. The thibu first examines the man as to the part of the body which is afflicted. If the place of pain is evident he sucks out a small stone or some other object which caused the pain, (170) or if it is clear that the sick man's soul was caught by a spirit, he tells the man that an animal must be sacrificed at the place where he went before falling ill. The thibu sees fortune who and of which clan the man must be who will perform the sacrifice. It always must be an old man. (The schoolmaster does not know the genna words). The thibu also goes to the land of the dead. When a man dies, his brother may call a thibu and ask him why his brother dies and gives him rice of about 1 rupee worth. Then the thibu in his own house strews (171) rice and utters some words which the other people can't understand. Then he gets into trance and his soul goes to the sky to the land of the dead. Then he meets the soul of the dead man and asks him from what illness or why he died. During this time his body lies like dead and nobody is allowed to speak. When he awakes he is trembling and then tells his story.