The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Furer-Haimendorf manuscript spiral bound notebook one

caption: the thevo , his office and duties
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami
date: 2.6.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-17.12.1936
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
note: (rough notes, in pencil) NO SKETCHES ON DISC
text: (1) Eastern Angamis 2/6/1936 Thewo does not go to war himself - heads brought to his house - he gets the ornaments of head-takers from them. He must know the calendar though there is a special calendar expert in the village. He is succeeded by his oldest near relation. In Thenizumi, Nakrumi clan provides the Thewo. His name is Warchi. In Pfesa-Chadumi (2) the Chidotsomi clan provides the Thewo. Here Iyeni was Thewo and died this year. They think that Shitso is going to succeed, but he can't succeed till after harvest. Iyeni died after the sowing of the millet. Shitso is a first cousin of Iyeni (common grandfather). (3) Iyeni has got one unmarried son who is too young to succeed. Shitso is under 40 - he is considered as a little too young. At Pfesa-Chadumi the situation is exceptional. There is no fixed house-site on which the Thewo must live. Iyeni's son will go on to live on the (4) house-site. Shitso will live in his old house. The first Thewo of the village was Zeze. His successor was Shutsuhu. He was not Zeze's son, but a near male relation. Zeze had 3 sons: Sasu, Moho-ru and Shutsuhu. (7) A Thewo need not have done a mithan sacrifice. The grave of the original Thewo is in the village. Thewos can't be taxed, nothing must be taken out of their houses. When a Thewo dies the whole village is genna for one day (the day of the funeral). Then they wait for 4 days. The (8) 5th to the 20th and 30th day are genna again. Peculiarly of the funeral feast a little rice is cooked in the same pot with the meat. He gets no free labour but is given special help when he builds his house. The Thewo himself may never touch thatch, because thatch (9) is light and the food supply would quickly disappear. The Thewo and his wife never use a basket for catching fish, because of the holes, and also a plague of sandflies would come over the village. For 7 years after election the Thewo and his wife must wear a white kilt (10) and a white skirt and white thread in the ears (nothing black). Of all game killed the middle part of the stomach is divided between the Thewo, the first reaper and first sower, (11) and the Chekrei gets a part too. Thewo gets the biggest share. When a Thewo or his wife comes up his field in the evening he must not enter it empty handed, but it is enough if he brings []. The Thewo and his wife must not carry the firewood the ordinary (12) way up, but in a bundle across the back. At all big ceremonies (as stone-dragging) the Thewo is given food first and must come to the sacrificer's house and eat as the first person after the latter. The Thewo must be married, if his wife dies he must (13) remarry. It is absolutely genna to steal from the Thewo's house; exile is the punishment. The Thewo has his special wooden seat, which nobody else but his wife and his son may use. He sits on other seats too. The wife has a similar seat. The Thewo and his wife never must sit on the ground. They put leaves underneath. (14) Neither must they put their gourds on the ground. The Thewo is under no special restriction concerning food, but everybody follows the following custom: Food must never end in a pot. The Thewo has not a special seat in the (15) village, (stone circle etc.). Each village has a Kemovo, not khels.