The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook nine

caption: bringing in a head
medium: notes
person: DzemangShankokYonglong
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 21.12.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 29.10.1936-24.3.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (34) Wakching 21/12/1936
text: When Dzemang brought in the head I had given him and we arrived at the rest-house on the Balang-Bala path, his brother (as the great man of his clan) made a genna with eggs. He put the piece of head to the ground at the genna place, which is near the place where the skulls of the dead are disposed. Then he threw one egg on the head and said: [konyak]. (35) As Dzemang was going to share the head with the other five clans of his morung the old men of the other clans each broke an egg over the head too. Then all the men of the morung wanted to carry the head, but at last an old man (Han-yong) of Dzounak clan carried it in his basket. He then went on the head of the procession to the morung and sang: [konyak]. (37) Words said when eggs are broken over the skull before taking it to the village: [konyak]. Then the whole procession enters the village, the oldest man of the clan carries the head in his hand, the young men (38) may carry feet or hands in their baskets. The whole procession first moves to the Ang's house where they dance. Then they go to their proper morungs and the old man fastens the head to the drum. The young men beat the drum. At night the head is fastened to one of the main posts inside the morung and now the women beat the drum while the men and boys dance inside the morung. The old men and women watch the dancing in the morung. (39) Men who have killed one or two men tattoo their chest, men who killed five or six enemies tattooed also their backs. There are no rules about the painting of face and body with lime.
text: In the morning Shankok took the head to his house and here the oldest man of his clan killed a small chicken in the same way as it is later done by Yonglong. The next day (after the head was brought in) the oldest man of the clan brings the head to the house of the Ang (again in great procession). There are two stones in front of the Ang's house. Then (40) the Great Niengba (descendant of the village founder, - Yonglong in Wakching at present) cuts off small pieces from the ears and the tongue of the head and puts them under stone 'b' and says: [konyak]. Then he takes a small chicken, cuts it in the mouth, sprinkles the blood on the stones and says the same words. Then he takes out the intestines of the chicken and looking at the long guts sees if more enemies will (41) be killed. The chicken remains on the stone to which also some genna leaves are fastened. Then the oldest man takes the head to the genna-tree of his morung and fastens it there in a basket. Then all the men dance alternatively in front of the five morungs. (42) Song when bringing in the head: [konyak].