The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook nine

caption: morung building
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 22.12.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 29.10.1936-24.3.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (43) Wakching 22/12/1936
text: Inf: Shankok (cf. NB 6. p. 175).
text: Morung building:
text: On the fifth day of the new month the old man of the Sha-yang-hu dug up the earth a little with his dao on the genna place and erected a small post as they support the side-beams of the morung. This post is only put up as the formal beginning of the morung building, and killed a chicken and said: [konyak]. Then he takes the whole chicken and eats it, nothing of it remains on the genna place. (44) The next day the men of the morung begin with the breaking up the old roof and all parts of the morung which are not used for the new building. On that day - of breaking up the morung - the young men sing and dance on the roof of the morung before breaking it up. Then the building of the new morung is begun. It may take them any time from five to ten days, posts are erected, the roof constructed, and so on, without further ceremonies. On the day when the construction of the roof is completed they sing on the roof too. In the case of the Thepong it took them ten days, till the morung was so far constructed that the roof could be thatched with Tunkupat. (45) Before the thatching was begun, Yongang, the gaonbura, killed two male pigs at the inner main post of the morung and said: [konyak]. (46) Before killing the pigs Yongang took some madhu in a banana leaf cup and poured it on the mouth of the pig and said: [konyak]. "Eat, don't be angry, I am showing you (sending you) on a good path". The pigs were equally divided among all The-pong people - no-one got special shares. (47) That day the tunkupot was put on the roof, then the young men sang on the roof.
text: The next day a buffalo which they had bought for Rs. 40 from the plains was fastened at the inner main post and Yongang killed it with a spear (behind the shoulder). Before killing he also gave him madhu saying the same words as yesterday. Then the buffalo is cut up in the morung. The Ang (Chinkak) receives one hind leg. One morung Ang (Dhuk-nie of Ang-nok-phong, his house is in Ang-ban khel, when he rebuilds his house the The-pong men do the work, and the The-pong men work one day in the year on his fields) receives the other hind leg. The other morung Ang (Ma-nang of Metahu, who lives in the The-pong khel) receives one hind leg (sic). The remaining fore-leg is given to Chingtang village of which the young men come to help in building the morung. The old men eat the head of the buffalo on the The-pong path outside the village. Then Yongang killed a young female pig with the same ritual. (49) This pig is equally shared among the men who eat it in the morung. That day the young men beat the drum and at night people assemble in the morung and drink madhu, there is however no singing or dancing.
text: The next day all the men of the morung go to the fields and catch a young bird of a kind which live on the ground and don't fly high. They must catch it with their hands and they kill it on the spot and then take it to the morung, where they fasten it to the central post. Then all the men go hunting (50) and must do so till they kill a deer or a stag. The Thepong men killed a deer on the sixth day with a spear. The deer is divided up at the rest house on the Aukheang path. The Ang (Chinkak) receives one hind leg and the head. The first and second killer get one hind leg each (sic), the third killer receives the breast. One fore-leg is divided up among the hunting dogs. The rest is divided among all the other men of the morungs. They eat it in their own houses. On that day the young men beat the drum.
text: (50) None of the days during which the morung is built is genna, but the women may work on the fields. All the time they may also enter the morung, but while the men have gone hunting to kill a deer, it is genna for the women to enter the morung.
text: (52) Contributions of the other morungs: Aukheang gave one "maruli", a horizontal post parallel to the ridge-post.
text: Balang gave twenty "ou-laks", - posts supporting the roof and running at right angles to the "marulis", and some bamboos. Ang-ban gave one "maruli" and some bamboos. Bala gave one "maruli" and some bamboos. (53) Chingtang gave some bark for tying posts together "bag", and the Ang gave one small pig. Chinglong gave some bark for ligatures too, and one small pig.
text: The women of Wanching, who came from Wakching, marrying Wanching men, brought madhu.
text: The Tanhai women who had [].