The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook fourteen

caption: morung building
medium: notes
person: Yongang
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 14.5.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.5.1937-3.6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
seealso: notebook 9,p.43
text: (18) Wakching 14/5/1937
text: Inf. Yongang:
text: Morung building (cf. NB 9, p. 43).
text: 5th day of the month (Shou-em-li when the Thepong was rebuilt).
text: The old Shayang-hu erects the small post and sacrifices a chicken (cf. p. 43).
text: 6th day. All the posts which need renewal are exchanged while the building is still standing. The "dze" at the sides and even the big "shong's" in the centre.
text: (19) 7th-10th day the exchanging of posts is continues. All the time the roof remains untouched.
text: Yongang says that it is much better and easier to exchange the posts piece by piece than to break up the whole building and build it new. Since it is so big it is difficult to know how it has to be built and to know the exact place of every post and board.
text: (20) 11th day. In the very early morning, before the sun has risen, the men of the morung, young and old, put on all their ceremonial dress and climb the roof the morung. At that time the young men often begin to quarrel and to fight. All their old quarrels and brought up and they hit each other. The old men try to pacify them. Then they climb the roof and sing the morung songs. When they have finished the song the roof is demolished. Otherwise little work is (21) being dong on that day; the men eat and drink. Yongang kills two male pigs (cf. NB. 9 SEE p. 45ff). On that day the Thepong girls and women come to the morung too and eat and drink with the men. All the madhu has been prepared in the house of the morung Ang.
text: 12th day. The young men and boys begin with thatching the roof. They finish the work in the afternoon. Then Yongang killed a buffalo (p. 47). (22) Yongang tried to reconcile the buffalo with his fate by telling him that he sends him on a good path (cf. p. 46). But since the animals sometimes die very slowly, the sacrificers are afraid that the animals may take vengeance.
text: Of the buffalo: Chinkak, the Ang, receives one hind leg. Duknie (Ang-ban 17), morung Ang of Thepong, one foreleg. Manang, (Metahu), morung Ang of Thepong, one hind leg. Yongang received the (23) eatable intestines and pieces from the back.
text: 13th day. The worm still left to be done on this day. 14th day. All the men of the morung go into the jungle and eat the heads of the buffaloes and the pigs near the spring. They also cook rice and vegetables in the jungle. During that time nobody (24) may enter the morung, neither men of other morungs nor women and girls. Fresh leaves are fastened to the morung in order to mark it as genna.
text: 15th day. In the morning a small bird (ou-mei-ha) is caught (cf. p. 49). Then the men go hunting with dogs and kill whatever they meet, (deer, pig, bear etc.) This year they hunted for two days without success.
text: 16th day. Hunting
text: (25) 17th day. Since they still hadn't got any game, Yongang sacrificed a cock on top of Shouba's (Shankok's father) skull cist and he said: [konyak]. (26) Then Yongang threw a net over the skull cist in order to catch the "mio" (the fortune, "mana") of Shouba and carried it away.
text: 18th. They went hunting with dogs and killed one barking deer with spears. There is one house, the men of which lead the hunting dogs. They first give them rice and kill one chicken for the dogs. The game is shared by the man of that house. In the Thepong the man who (27) cares for the dogs (the gui-ba) is Yongang (Yananhu, not the GB). Yongang cuts up the game in the jungle and divides the shares, (cf. p. 50).
text: The Ang gets one hind leg and the head
text: The first killer "eya-ba" gets one hind leg
text: The second killer "eleng-ba" gets a part of the breast
text: The third killer "eniei-ba" gets a part of the back (never the tail)
text: The gui-ba gets one foreleg
text: The oldest man of those men who went to the jungle receives one foreleg. (The same names are given to the killers of men). The dogs receive one basket filled with different parts (the neck, part of the breast etc.)
text: The Ang, after having eaten the (28) head gives back the skull of the Gui-ba, on whose house it remains. Before that, when the meat is brought into the village, the head is taken to the Gui-ba's house. The Gui-ba kills a small chicken and swinging it over the head says: [konyak].