The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook six

caption: Ceremony and the building of a log-drum.
medium: notes
person: Chinkak
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 29.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.8.1936-26.10.1936
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (16) Informant: Chinkak (Ang)
text: First an old famous head-taker with one or two brass bells on each arm cuts the tree, ie. he hits it first. [konyak] Then the morung boys and men carve the drum quite roughly, without carving the ornaments. When this is done the older of the Neang-ba kills a pig with a panji near the drum. [konyak] (17) He fastens a few leaves to the drum and sprinkles some of the pigs blood on it.
text: On the day the drum is brought in all the people of the morung put on ceremonial dress and accompany the procession. (The younger men drag it in). From the corresponding morung only the young girls come, eg. when The-phong brings in a drum, the Bala girls come, but not the Bala men. The people in the procession sing and dance. At dawn the morung boys have already fastened ropes at the drum.
text: When they arrive in the village (18) they put the drum at the place in front of the morung (not yet into the drum house), then all the men and women of the morung eat and drink a lot, and also the Bala girls eat in the Thephong khel. On this day all assemble in the morung and even the women and girls, also those of Bala, enter the morung. This day is not genna.
text: From the next day on the artists of the morung begin to make the carvings at the drum. When the carvings are finished they wait till the fifth day of the month and then drag the drum into the drum-house. (19) That day is genna for the morung, but no ceremonial dress is put on.
text: First the oldest man of the morung, not necessarily the Neang-ba, kills a pig near the drum. [konyak] Then the drum is dragged into the drum house and a little madhu is sprinkled on it.
text: A few days later the men of the morung chase some game (wild pig of deer or some other animal). They chase it in the name of the drum. One leg of it is put on the (20) head of the drum (no words are spoken). The head of the animal is given to the Ang.
text: In the old times they took a head and put it on the drum.