The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook eight

caption: great spring festival - O-ya-bu
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Oting
date: 10.10.1936
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: (70) Oting 10/10/1936
text: Informant: Chingai. O-ya-bu is the great spring festival (held usually in April). It last four days.
text: 1st day: A-shoi-bu. On that day pigs, buffaloes, mithans are killed. Anybody, also the householder may kill them, (not the oldest man of the clan). The bovidae may be killed with a dao or a spear. No words are said when killing them. Some of the meat is already eaten on that day. The Ang gets one hind leg of those animals which the owner had bred himself, as pigs, but (71) doesn't get anything of the animals bought "with money". On that day all the men build one platform in front of the Ang's house and erect there three high bamboo poles from which bundles of palm-leaves are pending. The Ding-don boys (the rather small ones) build in front of the morung Ang's house one platform. The Long-shai boys build a platform in front of Wang-shu's house. In the midst of these platforms (72) one bamboo with palm leaves is erected and around them as many bamboos are put up as boys built the platform. On these they fasten rattan leaves. No words are spoken when building these platforms.
text: 2nd day: O-ya-yasha (Great Genna). In the morning the small boys begin dancing on their morung platforms and then gather on the Ang's platform. They dance the whole day with hats with feathers on their heads. The adult people only drink and eat and don't do any work. In the evening the young men (74) and girls assemble on the Ang's platform and dance, the girls in the middle, the men in circle round them. The men dance with hats and daos and spears. Only the girls sing while dancing. Also the morung drums are beaten. On that day the girls change the lead-earrings for brass- earrings and begin to sleep with the young men.
text: 3rd day: O-ya-ya-nu (Small Genna). During the day the boys, young men and girls dance, the former on their morung platforms, men and girls (75) on the Ang's platform. In the evening also the old men dance and sing on the Ang's platform. They dance a lot in order to get good crops. If they wouldn't dance the rice would be bad. The married women don't dance. In the old days they danced too. At night a tug-of-war is made in front of the Ang's house. The men of each morung drag on one side, the girls witness the tug-of-war and bring lamps and torches to see it better.
text: (76) 4th day: Wen-shau-bu (Stranger's day). In the morning people eat, then they see their friends off who had come from Punkhung, Wangla, Lunglam, Hungphoi, Longkhai and Mon.