The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook twelve

caption: rituals of sorcery
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 8.4.1937
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: (67) Wakching 8/4/1937
text: Inf. Dzingben:
text: On the day of First Sowing, Yongmek takes a dried flat fruit "tayang" of the tree "dzoubei" (a tree growing near the Dikhu), which he has already dried in his house. He also takes six small chungas. On the Wemdzong he sticks into the ground: six small chungas and three longer bamboo sticks. To these a reed which is just blossoming is fastened to the bamboos. On this reed the flat, paper-like seeds of the "tayong" fruit have already been fastened at home. (68) In doing this he says: [konyak] "Sow well. seed well give, weeds, weeds, not grow". At the time of the Oulingbu he looks how much water is in the chungas. If there is only very little it will be a bad year and bad crops. If they are half full the crops will be good. If they are three-quarters or more full the crops will be bad too. He also may sacrifice a cock, but it is not necessary. (69) If there were bad crops in the last years a great ceremony is made in front of the Ang's house before Yongmek goes sowing. This ceremony is called Moi-wem-bu. A mithan is bought and each of the morungs brings one basket of dhan for sowing. Then the Ang's Benba kills the mithan, which is fastened to the tree in front of the house, by cutting his throat. The mithan may be of either sex. (70) In doing this the Benba says: [konyak]. Then Yongmek kills a cock, saying the same words. The blood of the mithan and of the cock is sprinkled on the dhan. Then the rice of each basket is distributed to the people of each morung and used for sowing.
text: (71) Bird lime is made of the juice of the "nie" tree; it is smeared on a creeper called beang deang.