The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook nine

caption: rice sowing ceremony
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 17.1.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 29.10.1936-24.3.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (54) Wakching 17/1/1937 Informant: Chinyang
text: Yesterday on the 4th day of the month Tai-li, Yong-mek of Sha-yang-hu (descendant of the village founder) did the first rice sowing. He took rice of all six kinds and sowed it on one small round spot of one of his new fields. In case the new fields have not yet been burnt at that date because there was rain, he goes to one of his old fields and makes the ceremony there. (55) When sowing the rice he says: [konyak] "May the beaks of birds and the mouths of rats be tied up so that they can't damage the crops". (Metlou says that this is not said by Wakching men but by the Shiong and Longkhai people cf. p. 143). He puts up a bamboo at the genna-place but doesn't kill a chicken. (56) When the women plant the taro they make with a small dao a hole in the ground, put in a taro, and say: [konyak] "May the taro of my house become big as the heads of big male mithans". This ceremony is called Theang-the-bu (theang = taro). (56v) [konyak]