The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook four

caption: shamans and were-tigers
medium: notes
person: Poalim/ of Shiong
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Shiong
date: 8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 14.8.1936-5.1937
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
note: [konyak] means text omitted
text: (58) Shiong.
text: shaman: male a-hiba
text: female a-hizu
text: There is now-a-days one a-hizu, Poalim of Niem-lim clan. Her familiar is a small bird "Pong-li-la-gak", whose meat is never eaten.
text: Once Ahon took the meat of a cow wounded by a tiger to his house. Shortly after that one of his daughters became "mad". Then they made gennas for her, but now it seems as if she was (59) becoming an ahizu, and therefore she eats now separately. Her familiar is a bird, so says Poalim in any case. Some ahizus have tigers or snakes as familiars.
text: If the tiger of a were-tiger is wounded the man becomes unconscious and feels pain.
text: When a sick man's people call Poalim then she strews some rice in her house (provided by the sick man's family) and sees in her dreams what kind of disease (60) it is and where it comes from.
text: When a man dies Poalim dreams about him the second night after the funeral and asks the dead man why he died and he answers. If a dead man tries to take away one of [his] relative's soul she takes food to the dead man's land and appeases the dead man and brings back the soul of the living relative. For all people who died Poalim sends her soul to the Land of the Dead the day after the funeral, the day when the head is taken off and after harvest.