The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook fourteen

caption: diviners, shamans and the land of the dead
medium: notes
person: Limnia
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 20.5.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.5.1937-3.6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (77) At Limnia's house: [konyak] - these words she says when strewing the rice in her house, afterwards she falls into trance. (78) Limnia sees in her dream the great Ghawang and his wife. Ghawang is on the earth like men. Ghawang looks like a Wakching man, with a cloth and a dao. Ghawang has no land of his own nor a house, he lives near to men. The same Ghawang who is on the earth is also in Yimbu. Ghawang gives death to men.
text: (79) People who died a normal death and those who died apothia go on different paths to Yimbu, but they live there all together in the same village. Doloniu is like an old woman, but not like a Konyak, but like a white woman with white skin. Limnia saw also Doloba, he also is white; even his hair is white. The dead give them some rice, and Doloba and Doloniu show them the path. (80) The people of Yimbu live like those in the earth, they work on their fields, celebrate the Oulingbu, marry and have children. They also die and go to another Yimbu, but there Limnia can't go. When Limnia dreams that she meats a man (who is still alive) on the way to Yimbu, she knows that he will soon die. But she can make a ceremony for fetching back his soul, if he pays her for it. (81) Then she kills a pig in the man's house and is given a cloth, a dao, a spear and some money. When killing the pig she says: [konyak]. At night she goes to the Yimbu and brings back the soul of the man, with the cloth she blocks the way to Yimbu. (82) Small children, who cannot walk, remain crying on the road to Yimbu. Limnia carries them to Yimbu and gives them to the relations who have died before them. For carrying the babies she is paid by their parents.