The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook twelve

caption: field ceremony
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 27.4.1937
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: (166) Wakching 27/4/1937
text: Today the Ga-wem-bu is performed. (field ceremony). Today is not genna, but tomorrow nobody goes to their fields, on which he has made the genna today. Shankok has gone to the big field house on one of his new fields, his brother and sister have come too. His brother went ahead and before he arrived they performed the ceremony. Chinyang (about 15) fastened lai-to leaves to the main (167) post and sprinkled some pigs' blood on them: [konyak]. Then he fastened some leaves to the basket at the Wem-dzong outside the field-house. (In that basket the chicken sacrificed when the field-house was built, has been carried). Then he put some boiled white rice mixed with pigs liver into a leaf and poured some madhu on it, that was wrong. He ought to have put the madhu into a separate leaf cup. The leaf he put on the stones of the Wem-dzong. [konyak]. (168) For this ceremony only pigs blood and liver must be used, not the liver and blood of mithan, buffalo or cow. People who haven't killed a pig, ask some from other people. Tonight Ghawang will come to the field and eat the offerings, therefore people are afraid to stay long in the field-house and go home (169) well before sunset. Because Ghawang comes it is also genna to work on this field tomorrow. It is not genna, however, to go to other fields and Shankok will make the same ceremony tomorrow on one of his other fields. Today his sister has gone to one field near this one and done the same ceremony. Shankok gives today shares of pork, mostly bacon, to all the people whose fields are adjoining to his field, altogether five. (170) He is just putting the pieces into boiling water, then his brothers will carry them to the other field-houses, together with some madhu (yu). Tomorrow Shankok will give shares to the three men whose fields adjoin his field near the Wanching path. Yesterday a similar ceremony was made on the old fields, but there was no meat exchanged.