The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Furer-Haimendorf manuscript spiral bound notebook one

caption: installation of a thevo
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami
date: 5.6.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 2.6.1936-17.12.1936
note: [konyak] means text omitted
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (30) Installation of a Thevo.
text: A new Th. acts at once after the old Th. died. He has not to wait until the installation (like King acts before coronation). After the day the Th. dies the village is manna (penna) for four days ie. the 4 subsequent days. The day after these four days is Thevo-phu - "the day of looking for a new Th.". This day is manna too. On that day the new Th. is formally chosen, though everybody knows before who will be Th. The next day is manna too - it is Chesekri (on that day (31) an ordinary man cuts a little bunch of thatch, and pushes it into the thatch of the new Thevo's house, thus formally rebuilding it). That day the Th. is genna. Subsequent day (Thevo-lo) the Thevo takes office over. On that day the Th. throws away all his old cooking pots, drinking vessels, eating dishes, the old hearth stones, and he puts a little new earth on his head. When he takes the earth he says: "This is clean earth, it is not earth from a grave". Then he becomes Thevo. Thenezumi can do the installation at any time. Pfesa-Chaduma can only do it after harvest (32) during the Terhengi genna. In Pfesa-Chaduma, Shitso is not nominally Thevo. He is under no food restrictions, but gets any shares he would be entitled to as Th. as an act of politeness. Soon after installation the Th. gives a feast to the village. He first kills a virgin suckling pig. It has got to be entirely black all over. That is the formal, pure animal for the sacrifice. A member of the Thevo's clan kills it by hitting it on the head. (33) Another man of the Thevo's clan cooks it on a hearth made of sticks inside the Thevo's house. And the man who cooks the pig makes cups of banana leaves and the Thevo and his wife drink out of these cups madhu while the cookery is going on. Then the pig is eaten by the Thevo and his wife and some of his friends (of any clan). Then the Thevo provides cows, pigs etc. which are killed by anybody. A member of every house-hold must go to the Thevo's house and drink. The Thevo's funeral is the same as anybody elses. (34) it is luck in war (if a village is raided) to kill the Thevo. One tries to kill the best man and that is the Thevo. Thevoni never heard of a Thevo being killed.