The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook fourteen

caption: genealogy and history of Ang of Mon and other Angs
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching Mon
date: 15.5.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.5.1937-3.6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (29) Wakching 15/5/1937
text: Inf. Dzem-ang
text: The Ang of Mon, Kau-ba, is married to Eniu, the daughter of the Ang of Longwa and his (Kau-ba's) own elder sister. Eniu has five daughters but no son. After Eniu he married as second Ang wife a daughter of the Ang of Sheangha. She has one son. This son cannot succeed Kau-ba, however, for it was not the custom for the Great Angs of Mon to take their wives from Sheangha. Kau-ba has broker this rule, but his son by the Sheang-ha (30) wife cannot become Great Ang. Therefore Kau-ba wanted to find out why Eniu has no son and called Bisho, a famous "hiba" (shaman) from Namsang. As intermediary he employed Dzemang who went to Mon with Bisho, one other Namsang man and two Bala men.
text: The evening of the day on which the two arrives in Mon, Bisho took some husked rice and strew it in the Ang's house on the floor. He didn't pronounce any words, but he silently asked Ghawang to look down on him. (31) He also tied up some rice and three rupees in a leaf and put it down at the main post of the house. Then he went to sleep. In his dream he met Eniu's mother and asked her why Eniu had no son and whether she is angry with her. She said that indeed she is offended for her burial place is neglected and the pigs and dogs come and disturb her skull. She also is unhappy that Eniu and the Sheangha girl live under one roof, though Longwa and Sheangha are at war. Bisho asked her what could be done (32) and she said that Kau-ba and Eniu should come to Longwa and clean and fence up the place where her skull is lying and sacrifice one cock. When they return they should sacrifice one pig in Mon. Then Eniu would bear one son (but not more), whether this son will live or die soon she did not know. In the morning Bisho told the Ang of Mon what he had seen. He stayed one more day in Mon and the Ang of Mon killed one pig for the guests. He gave one mithan to (33) Bisho and some presents to Dzemang and the other men. Soon Kau-ba and Eniu will go to Longwa and do as Eniu's mother has told Bisho. They could reach Longwa in one day if they went through Tang-niu, but Mon and Tang-niu are not on very good terms at present, though not at war. Therefore Kau-ba will make a detour through some villages which are Mon's "sons".
text: Mon is not a big village, it is about the size of (34) Longkhai. But the name of the Mon Angs is great and the 12 or more villages which give tribute and help in war to Mon make Mon a considerable power. At present Mon is only at war with Chen, but Kau-ba says, if Longwa will not give him tribute he will go to war with it. Though another daughter of the Ang of Longwa is married to the Ang of Sheangha the two villages are at war. The heads taken by Ang people are kept in the Ang's house, the heads taken by Ben men, in the morung. (35) When a head of an Ang from Longwa is brought in, the Longwa women who are married to the Angs of Sheangha address him and say: "My brother, why did you get killed, where did you go that the Sheangha men caught you. Eat of this rice drink of my madhu". Then they feed the skull and give it betel. Ang's heads are in any case kept in the Ang's house. It is dangerous to kill a Great Ang. The killer will not live long. The head is put in a special basket and fed more than others, it is (36) kept on top of all the other heads.