The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook six

caption: ritual official, the Dzim-gem, and his duties
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 1.10.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.8.1936-26.10.1936
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (153) Wakching 1/10/1936
text: Dzim-gem of Nokhanokphong and Ang-ban morung cuts first the tree when the Aukheang morung builds a log drum or when they rebuilt the Aukheang morung the trees for the posts. All the other people are afraid to do it. For Dzimgem is of the right clan to do it - the "real great Ben clan". When the Aukheang morung is rebuilt Dzimgem kills the pigs, mithans or buffaloes and receives the two hind-quarters. He kills the buffalo with (154) an axe striking at its head and saying: [konyak] "May I live long. My ancestors did that. I am of the killing clan. Ghawang make my heart be well".
text: Dzim-gem doesn't function for the Ang-ban morung for he is of Ben clan, and there everything done by Ang people. But the first stroke when (155) felling a tree for a drum or a morung post is done by any head-taker of the morung. When Balang rebuilds, Shun-ga does the first stroke, who is a Chui man, he himself comes from Chui. For Bala, Dang-wem does the first stroke when building a morung or a drum. He is of Wem-nok clan and The-pong morung. His office is hereditary. There is no special man or clan for this work in the Thepong morung. The reason why Shun-ga left Chui was that his wife had stolen a necklace. He came to Wakching and as the man who first cut the trees for drums etc. of the Balang morung had just died without leaving any descendants, he was asked to take over his office. He also makes all omens for the village, as he is of the right clan (Wang-nau-lim).