The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Furer-Haimendorf manuscript spiral bound notebook one

caption: Kemovo official
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Angami
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: _(85v)_Kemovo_is_the_oldest
text: (86v) Kemovo does eat Naga tali
Kemovo does not eat game (big deer)
Kemovo receives at harvest time from each man: 1 basket rice, 1 basket millet.
text: Kemovo can go to war. Before being elected he must have done the complete social gennas.
text: (87) When he becomes Kemovo he kills one fowl. After two days again he kills one. After one day again one chicken. After these gennas, if he has got sons, the son must stand outside his house with a spear and shield, as if he were going to spear something. Then the Kemovo will shout "Today I am becoming Kemovo", and makes a long speach. He must be married. If his wife dies he marries again or not. It is strictly genna to the Kemovo to go to other villages or cross a big river. (88) When he goes to fields he must come before sunset. It is genna to take out anything from the Kemovo's house. He did not drag stone. He must know everything about gennas - when somebody wants to make a genna he must ask the Kemovo. Only the Kemovo knows the formulas for gennas by heart. Before he dies, if a man who may become Kemovo comes to him and asks him about these things he teaches him, all about the gennas. (89) When a man is going to make genna the Kemovo must go first of all into his house, and the sacrificer gives him madhu first. His share of meat is bigger. When one goes hunting he must give the Kemovo a piece of the game, but he doesn't eat it, but gives it to his children. (Any part of the animal). He has nothing to do with funerals. He must not eat meat of dog, "naga tali", and certain sown vegetables, small snails (shamoh - it lives in water). If he eats these things he becomes mad. His wife may eat these things. His utensils and his (90) plates must not be used by his wife or children. He has been Kemovo for 18 years. If a man has broken a genna he must come to the Kemovo and ask for forgiveness. If for any urgent business he is sent for to another village, he must remain outside the village, but the men who called him will give him food and drink outside. He does not do to war. If the Kemovo of a raided village says "I am Kemovo", the enemies will not kill him. (91) It is very genna for the Kemovo to scowl at other people or to beat other people. The Kemovo must always remain chaste, therefore the oldest man is elected. When he goes to a great genna to another man's house, he doesn't eat rice, but for five days he gets every day five small bits of meat. He eats only three and gives away two. He is not allowed to eat all at a time.