The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook eight

caption: rituals for firstborn young boys; substitute head taking
medium: notes
person: Chingai
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
date: 7.10.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 4.10.1936-23.2.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (43) Oting.
text: Informant: Chingai and gaonburas.
text: Rich men make for their sons a genna when they are between 7 and 10. Two rich men make this genna on the same day, usually in October, on the place outside the village where my camp is. The feast lasts two days. The first day the Ben-ba comes to the men's houses and kills mithan, cows and pigs. Chingai killed for his son last year one buffalo, one cow and one pig. When the Benba (44) kills the animals he says: [konyak]. He kills the pigs with a panji and the mithan with a spear and reserves a part of the stomach of the pig and a part of the back of the mithan (or buffalo and cow). On that day all the house-holders of the village come to the house of the feast giver and eat and drink. The second day all the men of the village and the boys who sleep in the morung assemble on the place outside the village. (45) The boys for whom the feast is given of course come too. Much food and madhu is brought and eaten and also the heads of the pigs sacrificed. These are then thrown away into the jungle.
text: Some men go to the jungle and bring the thick roots of wild bananas. They carve two human heads out of them and hit them with daos or shoot them with guns. This is done in the names of the boys. Then the heads are taken to the morungs, one to each morung, and hung up in the morung. The morung boys dance first on the genna place then in front of the (46) Ang's house, a war dance. This feast is only made for the first-born sons.