The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook six

caption: story of daughter of God married to a mortal
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 31.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.8.1936-26.10.1936
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Once a daughter of Ghawang came down from the sky, her name was Helim and married a (Wakching) man Ugamba. That happened at Tanyieng, an abandoned village between Wakching and Kongan.
text: Ugamba had planted a special flower (ou-i, []) in his garden and Helim came several times down on a rope (39) and picked the flowers. One day Ugamba watched his garden and saw a woman coming down from heaven and caught her and married and Helim stayed with him in Tanyiang. (Tanyiang is the name of a village abandoned which was situated on Wakching land; north of Wakching). After a time Helim was called from heaven by her family for Ou-ling-bu and they let down the rope again. So she climbed up on the rope again without telling it to her husband. When she reached the house of Ghawang she found her husband's leg over the hearth, like the people burn off the hairs from the pigs legs. She recognised it but didn't make any (40) remark about it. When she came back to her house and found him dead, she saw that it was really her husband's leg. Then she went back to the sky and spoke to other Ghawang folk and said, "Why did you kill and eat my husband, who will cultivate for us now, who will cut the jungle"? Then the sky folk said "Cut only the jungle and leave the bog trees". Then after clearing the jungle she said to the sky folk "I have cleared the jungle, who will cut down the trees?" Then a storm blew down all the (41) trees. After the forest had died she set fire to it and said "Who will clear the jungle now?" Then the sky folk said "Sow the seeds in the jungle without clearing the jungle". After sowing the wind (a cyclone) blew away all the rest of the burnt wood. Then the weeds grew very abundantly. "Who will clean the weeds?" "Just wait, I will clean it" and Ghawang cleaned the fields. Then the rice was getting ripe so she said "Who will reap the rice?" So Ghawang told her "Go to your field house and comb (42) your hair, and wash your cloth, and then open your cloth". Then the rice vanished by itself from the fields. Then she said "Where shall I take rice to eat?" Then Ghawang told her "Take a chicken with you and go to the field house, and take the chicken and swing it at the front side and the back side of the field house." Then the rice came out of the earth and filled the field house. Then Ghawang brought the rice to the granaries. (43) Then she took the rice as long as she lived, a very long time. Then she said "I can't die, how shall I die?" Ghawang told her "Take a husking basket over your head and stay on the path where the mithans and buffaloes go". Then she did that and these animals killed her and stamped her into the earth. Then she became a small bird (called shopat).