The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook four

caption: making a drum, dragging ritual and feast, forked post
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Chi
date: 22.12.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 14.8.1936-5.1937
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
note: [konyak] means text omitted
text: (122) 22/12/1936
text: Informant: Ang of Chi
text: Kam-rhak-bu.
text: First the young men of the village go to look for a tree. When they have found one they bring a small piece of the bark home to the Ang's house. With this piece of the bark, an old man of the Dzing-khei-lim clan sees fortune (taking the omen with an egg) and then tells if this tree is suitable. If it is not another tree must be found. (123) Then all the young men go to cut the tree. The Benba of the village, who is of Doalim clan, does the first stroke with an axe : [konyak] 'to live long give me, we two agree, well well'. Then all the men fell the tree. When it has fallen the Benba kills a particularly fine cock at its butt end and says the same words as above. Only the Benba eats the cock. (124) Then all the men hollow out the tree and carve the drum. For the workers, not for sacrifice, one pig is killed. The drum is exactly the same as in Wakching.
text: The drum is always dragged into the village in the cold weather, in the month of Lo-poa-wang-shoa-let, which corresponds approximately to January.
text: The drum must be dragged in on the day the new moon is visible for the first time, or the third or fifth day, or any odd day. The 2nd, 4th, 6th, are unlucky. (125) For dragging in the men put on ceremonial dress. If the men alone cannot move the drum the women drag too. No ceremony or sacrifice is done on that day. The drum is dragged to the house of the Ang and left outside.
text: The following days madhu is made and preparations for the feast are made. The Angs of numerous villages (cf. No. 3, p. 63) are invited to come on one particular day.
text: The day before mithans (126) and buffaloes are killed. The Benba first kills either a mithan or a buffalo and says the same words as when killing a cock. The other mithan and buffaloes may be killed by anyone.
text: The next day all the Angs of other villages arrive with all their men. They eat and drink in front of or in the Ang's house and then every village in turn dances in front of the Ang's house. Several villages do not dance at the same time. They stay for the night and dance in the Ang's house and in the morungs with the Chi girls. (127) The next day they return to their own villages.
text: On one of the next days the young men go to the jungle and cut the trees for the forked posts. Again the Benba does the first stroke. One or two posts may be erected for the animals killed by the Benba, but none are erected for those killed for meat.
text: When the posts are erected in front of the Ang's house the Benba pours a little madhu on them and says: (128) ' Mithan, don't be sad, instead of you we erect this post, as many mithan will again come as the eggs of snakes and insects'.
text: The Benba feeds the post also with small pieces of the mithan's or buffalo's tongue, ear, heart and kidneys.
text: The Benba receives one ear, half of the tongue and half of the meat of the head. The Benba also gets the stomach, a part of (129) the hind-quarters and the breast.
text: The drum is dragged into the Ang's house the day after the feast.
text: All the Angs who have done these gennas can only eat spotless animals, not of tiger's kill etc.