The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook four

caption: rituals at first rice sowing
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Shiong
date: 13.2.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 14.8.1936-5.1937
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
note: [konyak] means text omitted
text: (130) Wakching 13/2/1937
text: Informant: Ahon
text: Shiong.
text: The first rice sowing is done by all men on one day called Ha-ghei-bu. The village is genna for strangers that day. Men and women go to the fields but the men do the actual sowing.
text: When they come to the fields they put down the basket in which they carried the rice seed and fasten leaves on it, then they kill a chicken and sprinkle the blood on the basket with the leaves and the seeds. (131) Doing this they say: [konyak] (132) ie "in your month (the right month for sowing), on your day, I took out the seed of the pot, in which the rice-seed is kept".
text: Before this genna another genna the Hashambu is performed. This was done this year about the 28th January. Two leaves, teli (of a tree) and atun (also the leaf of a tree) are taken to the fields. On this day all the fires of the villages are extinct and new fire is made in the morungs. (133) From the new fires, fire is taken to every house. On the new fires white and black rice is cooked in chungas (not in pots) and taken to the fields. (133v) Ha-wan-bu is a puja made when the rice plants are quite small. Some are taken and fastened to the posts of the house.