The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook twelve

caption: building the house of the morung Ang
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 25.3.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 24.3.1937-27.4.1937
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (16) Wakching 25/3/1937
text: Building the house of the morung Ang.
text: At about 5pm. all the young men enter the new house and eat and drink. When they have finished they go to their own houses. Later in the evening they assemble in the morung and beat the drum. Then they go again into the new house. The old man of the clan put four bamboo cuttings on the fire, which explode with a great noise. By this all evil things and illnesses (17) should be driven out of the house. Then the oldest man of the clan (Metahu) kills a small dog and a cock near the hearth saying: [konyak]. Then all the men (young and old) eat of the cock and the dog mixed with rice. They eat only quite small bits, but they must eat three times and in the intervals they sing. (18) They sing the song of the tiger: [konyak]. ie. "Yanahu, Shayonghu, rise hot like the sun; the Kongan men die like jungle leaves (being dried up by the sun)". There are similar verses for 18 villages: Kongan, Tanhai, Punkhung, Longkhai, Hungphoi, Mon, Leangha, Chi, Totok, Longmien, Nganching, Chongwe, Chinglong, (19) Chingtang, Chingphoi, Wanching, Namsang, Tamlu.
text: This song is called the "tiger's song" because men learnt it from the tiger. They were sleeping on a high platform in the fields. One of their cloths hung down. The tiger came and noticed the cloth hanging down. He was surprised and sang: [konyak]. (20) Why the song about the other villages is called the "tiger's song" is not quite clear, as the tiger sung apparently only the verse just mentioned. The men dance in a circle while singing. (21) A Bala song: [konyak]. (22) The meaning of the song is: "Our girl friends are like the red berries of a tree. The porcupines and hedgehogs come and eat those which have fallen to the ground. From everywhere Small Hornbills and Great Hornbills come and eat the fruits on the tree. We men of our morung are like the Yuki birds. When we come all the fruits are eaten and the branches naked, without fruit and leaves, therefore we cry and weep on the tree".