The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook nine

caption: first ceremonial sowing
medium: notes
person: Shankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 19.2.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 29.10.1936-24.3.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (76) Informant: Shankok
text: Shankok didn't go to his fields for doing the first (ceremonial) sowing, but his two sisters went. They fastened small branches of a peach-like tree with pink blossoms (it is blossoming now) on their carrying baskets, and put them down on a stone in front of the field-house. They went to one of their new fields. Then they first sow rice (the white kind which is mainly eaten "han-wan") and afterwards on the same small spot, millet. (77) In doing this they said: [konyak]. Shankok said spontaneously that Ghawang shall bind the mouth of rats - to him these words are addressed. They continued: [konyak] "crops well may grow". When the real sowing begins the man of the house kills a chicken near the field-house, this may be done by a woman only if there is no man in the house. (78) Taro and wood are never carried by men, also the planting of taro can only be done by women (cf. p. 56). The words said at planting taro are as follows: [konyak].