The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook six

caption: the moon and sun beliefs, omens
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 30.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.8.1936-26.10.1936
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (149) Wakching 30/9/1936
full moon = helebu
new moon = lemabu
first quarter = leladza
third quarter = lekobu
text: The moon is female, the sun is her husband, for the moon is mild, the sun is strong.
text: In the old times the moon was quite near the earth, but the men threw ashes at the moon and one dog which was an enemy of the moon always barked (150) when he saw the moon. A small bird (of the kind which eats the rice) was disturbed by this barking and told the moon to go away further. The black spots on the moon are huluk monkeys.
text: Once upon a time there was a great darkness. Neither the sun nor the moon rose and there were no stars. It was so dark that men couldn't even fetch water. They burnt the skulls of animals they had in their houses.
text: (151) With this full moon (30th September) begins the month Nok-let-li (Nok = house, let = to spear). They don't know why this month is called so. There is no special work in this month.
text: In the next month (Shou-pan-li) the Neangbas collect eggs from the houses and see fortune for the next year (which begins with that month). They take omens if there will be sickness, if they will get good crops, if they will be successful. (152) In former days the Neangbas foretold always the right things, but now-a-days the things they tell don't happen always. They make the omen with eggs which they hold over the fire.