The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook four

caption: rituals for planting taro
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Shiong
date: 16.2.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 14.8.1936-5.1937
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
note: [konyak] means text omitted
text: (146) Genna for taro.
text: When the month Hasham-liet has "died" - at new moon - a genna for taro, the Doashem-bu, is performed. For as the moon has disappeared, so the taro will disappear in the earth. (Doa = taro).
text: The people take some seed-taros to their fields. With a bamboo they make holes in the ground into which they put taros. When they make the hole they say: [konyak] 'Male mithan head, kite wings, stone, stone, very big may be' (147) Men as well as women may say this and plant the taro. The sago leaf which was on the basket, in which they brought the taro, is stuck into the ground.
text: The day before this genna, the last day of Hashamliet, a genna called Didzingdzoabu, in order to protect the village against fire. The men fetch the hearts of bananas, pound them and mix them with water in the hole of the stone for sharpening (148) daos in front of the morung. Then every man puts some of this mixture into a chunga and fastens this chunga at the main post of his house and says: 'while we go to the fields you remain in the village as a fire guard' [konyak]. This day is strictly genna. No field work and not even the making of baskets is allowed, neither the picking of jungle leaves. But wood may be fetched and burnt and fishing is allowed.