The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook fourteen

caption: tiger hunting
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
date: 31.5.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1.5.1937-3.6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (170) Wakching 31/5/1937
text: Tiger hunting:
text: If a man kills a tiger or leopard while hunting alone, he takes the skull and keeps it in his house, but if the whole village has taken part in the hunt, the skull is given to the Ang and kept in his house. When a tiger is killed by men of a dependant village, the skull (but not the skin of the head) is given to the Wakching Ang. At Kongan the morungs Dzingha and Limbai give the skull to the Wakching Ang, the two others to the Ang of Balang. (171) After a man had killed a tiger, it is not mentioned that he has killed it, but people say "the village has killed it", for the relations of the tiger might revenge him and eat the hunter or his children.
text: In a song the people say "We have not killed the tiger, Mon killed it". [konyak]. And during the following days the killer changes his cloth and his dao every day when he goes to the fields. (172) He wears one day a red cloth, the other a blue one and then a white one, in order to deceive the tiger. The meat of tiger is only eaten by very old people, and is considered as a medicine for fever and leprosy. Ang people and hibas never eat it. When a tiger was killed by the whole village, small pieces of the meat are impaled on a great number of sticks and bamboos and put up near the paths of all morungs. Thus the relatives of the tiger are misled about the way where the dead tiger has gone. (173) The whole body of the tiger is carried into the village and the men dance as if they had taken a human head. They put on ceremonial dress and sing the song mentioned. The body is first brought to the genna-place in front of the Ang's house, then it is taken to the genna place of the morung and cut up there. The Ang men and shamans feed the dead tiger with betel.