The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook six

caption: black magic and the making of magic
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Chi
date: 15.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.8.1936-26.10.1936
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (112) Similar magic in the Chi group.
text: Informant Ahon:
text: Mewang, the Ang of Chi's elder brother, also died from this illness caused by black magic. First a wooden figure without limbs is made and speared with panjis in the eyes, in the mouth and the head. Then they spear it with a spear, and cut it with a dao and fire a gun at it. Then a chicken is killed and the figure smeared with the blood. Then a mithan and a pig are killed over the figure. (113) [konyak] After this they kill the mithan. The numbers [in konyak] refer to the men who shall kill the victim, for only the first three men who kill and wound a man get special names for that. [konyak]. The head is not entirely (114) cut off and the whole figure is then buried under the village path. To see if the magic will be effective they heat on the same day an empty earthen pot until it is red hot over the fire - then they put a cock into it. If he dies in the pot the victim of the magic will die too. If he escapes, the victim won't die. This is done at midnight. Even the killing of the mithan is done at night and within the house. (115) In war a magic is made with an egg. As soon as a head-hunting party has reached the soil of the enemies an egg is blown towards their village to make the enemies blind.