The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga notebook seven

caption: duties of ritual priests, first reapers etc
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Kongan
date: 24.9.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 23.9.1936-21.3.1937
refnum: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Rhemba's duties:
text: When a morung is built he first cuts the tree for the main posts and says: [konyak] (17). When a drum is made he also cuts first and says the same words. When the post is set up the Rhemba kills a pig, ties some leaves at the post and sprinkles them with blood. At these times he gets one hind-leg of the animals killed. (18) At other pujas - as at the Moha - the Rhemba does not function. When the crops are bad the morungs make a genna at the path to the fields. All the men (not women) come together and the morung eldest, not the Rhemba, kills a pig. Every year the Rhemba gets one field free ie. he has not to pay for the hire. He gets no free labour. When he builds his house people help him by fetching the palm leaves.
text: (18v) The Kong-man-hu clan was not among the founders of the village (ie. the people who came from Yin-yu-shang, but came from Assam, and they make these gennas as the Kongan fields are really on Assam grounds.
text: (19) The first field house is built by the Tap-peng-shem (tap = field house) who is of Kongmanhu clan. Today Phe-deng is Tap-peng-shen - a boy - when he dies his son will take the office.
text: The first sowing is done by the Li-shem-ba (li = sow) a man of Khong-mang-hu clan and Yong-sha morung. Nowadays (20) Mantok is Li-shem-ba. He too is an unmarried boy.
text: The first reaper is not of one special clan. It is done by two old men, one for the Chingha and Lingba morung and one for the Khang-kai and Yong-sha morung. The first reaping is done by the old women of each house.