The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook twelve

caption: offerings to dead and skulls
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: (171-172) [konyak]
text: (173) Inf. Yongang:
text: On the Lieng-niu-bu day the relatives of people, who died within the last three years give some offerings to those dead. They mix rice, salt, ginger and meat and wrap it up in a leaf; moreover they put some madhu into a chunga. Then at the time Taiphong tai yan (after having eaten their morning rice) the wife of the deceased or his children, or in want of them his brothers, go to the skull place. There they put the food on (174) top of the conical basket, with which the stone cist is covered and say: [konyak]. If the family of the deceased has suffered from illness during the year. They kill a small chicken near the stone cist by swinging it against the stone and say: [konyak] (175) ie. why do you give suffering to your children. On the Lieng-niu-bu also the Pangsha heads were fed. In front of the "Great House" of every clan, not within the house, white rice is boiled in a chunga; this rice is then wrapped up in leaves and fastened to the mouth of the skull, some pork (not beef!) is also fastened to the mouth and some bacon (176) over the eyes in order that the victim cannot see. (Yongang also says that the mithan horns are fastened to the skull in order to make it deaf). At the "Great Dance" the skulls are carried by the old men. Formerly the very oldest men carried the heads at the dance and those Thepong women who are married in the Bala, Balang and Angban made madhu for these old men and gave them shares of meat. (178-184) [konyak].