The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Furer-Haimendorf manuscript spiral bound notebook one

caption: stone dragging rituals
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Terocheswemi (Terocheswumi)
date: 10.6.1936
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: (66) 10th June
text: Stone dragging. Thevomi
text: 2. Zotho-tezubane "ceremony pounding rice beer preparing" is the name of day on which he makes the madhu. The rice is pounded by two boys and two girls. None of them must have reached puberty. That is done the day before Zotho. The days is called Dahakri "rice husking day". From that day there are certain food restrictions for the giver of the feast of merit and his wife. Fowls, funeral-meats, (67) snails, birds, dogs, stinking dhal (lentils), and lentils called "feri", and both the oil seed plants (white and black), all fish and the leavings of any man's food or drink. He must remain chaste from Zotho day till the village has gone to his fields the next month (Telazo day). If he breaks chastity he will go mad. (68) The day after Telazo his heir gives him some rice beer in the early morning. (He and his wife go to the heir's house). They roast a little bit of meat. Hesorakri (rice beer drinking day). The next day he and his wife eat in his house a little samber meat, a little meat of a bird (the Thevo among the birds) kalig pheasant, snails, and a leaf which is regarded as the Thevo of leaves. Gwakemeshe-kri. After this he doesn't need to be chaste. (69) On the day after Zototobane they pour the rice beer into the big ceremonial vat which had been dragged into the house.
text: 3. Thazosoba "today pouring the rice-beer in". The rice beer is drunk on the 5th day after that day - or the 6th day counting it. Within these six days they look for the stone. Anybody may do that. All his friends. Then he goes and touches it. The wife does not touch the stone.
text: (70) 6th day. The day of the drinking of the rice-beer is the day on which the stone is dragged.
text: 5th day. The day before (Merize) is the day on which the animals are killed. That day he and his wife can't go out until they have had a meal and they must formally eat before dawn and the door is kept shut. (They say "The sun has not risen". That counts as yesterday. The next meal they have not before midday.) "On that day we are kindly treated and don't want to have emotions". Therefore they don't go out before breakfast. The pure animals are (71) two cattle - bulls (not mithan). The two bulls keep very quiet because they know it is a genna day. They are tied up inside the porch. A rope passes through the fence and a man outside holds them. A man comes in and spears them behind the shoulder. First he scratches them to make them pleased. He is either of his own clan or a "Thozaoyo" (hoki). (72) The Thozauyo (sic) has to remain chaste until the end of the month. The other animals, mithan etc. may be killed by anybody who is skilled in it. They are tied to the crossed-posts. The forked post is put up when the fence is made and the crossed-posts are erected the day before the killing. (73) Neither the husband nor the wife touch any cooking pots from that day till the gennas are over. Therefore a man of any clan lives in the house and cooks for them. The only meat they are allowed to eat to the end of the ceremonies is a hind leg of one of the pure animals - the two bulls. 15 days he can eat no rice - only rice beer and meat. After that he mixes a little rice with meat. He may not eat ordinary boiled (74) rice until all the tabus are over
2 pure bulls
2 other bulls
1 mithan
3 buffaloes
8 pigs
8 big baskets were used for rice-beer and meals.
text: A man from Losofuenu? [illegible] came a week later for a
text: ceremonial visit and he killed 2 more cows.
text: (75) 2 Mal: 2nd stone dragging
3 bulls
2 buffaloes
8 pigs
text: The bull is killed in silence.
text: "Ta-etso-tseulo" today stone dragging
text: (76) Photo.
text: He and his wife have a meal and go down where the stones are. They must be at the same place. He stands in front of his stone and she before hers. Each of them releases a chicken. If the chickens scratches it is a good sign. (77) He goes down accompanied by the whole village. He is wearing his stone dragging cloth (the Manipuri cloth). They take down their own food and drink. At that time the creepers are tied on the stones (the previous day) and the sledges, which were made any day, are ready. (78) The stones are lying down, then two warriors in full warriors' dress slide reed spears over the stones to make them be dragged easier. That's done after the stones are put on the sledges. Then each of the warriors stands on the stone and holds a creeper to hold (79) his balance. The warriors ought to have taken heads. They may be of any clan and are the most renowned warriors. He and his wife walk in front of the procession. All men except him wear full dress (feast dress). His stone is dragged first, he goes (80) in front followed by his wife. Each of them sprinkles a little rice beer in front of the stone. Each of them carry with them a little gourd with the blood of the pure bull and smear a little on the stones after they are put up. (81) They let the stones slide into holes and raise him with creepers. To get the stone around corners they build platforms to give room for more pullers. (82) When they sprinkle the rice beer and smear the blood, they each say the same blessing: "May my meat increase, or my shares of meat. May my crop increase, may my food last a long time. May my food not be finished quickly". Then he and she drinks of the gourd, and then stone pullers drink. (83) They throw away the gourds with blood. Then he gives a shout and all the men shout and fire guns.
text: The day when the Thevo and Chekru drink first is when the animals are killed. Then they go to their houses, he and she (84) eat first and then the whole village comes to their house and drink and eat so long they want, and the following day they may come again. The stone dragging day may also be called Mithihu - eating day. The next is called Chekrihu. It means "the house coming today". (85) He puts on the house horns only when he repairs the house the next time. The sledges are left at the stone.