The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

'The Feast of Merit among the Northern Sangtam Tribe of Assam', by C.R. Stonor, 1950

caption: the series of feasts
caption: third - Anitz
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Sangtam <Northern
date: 12.1947
person: Stonor/ C.R.
date: 1950
refnum: 'Anthropos', vol. XLV 1950
text: [3] 3. Anitz.
text: Essentials : The animals sacrificed at this feast are:
text: One mithan - If possible bulls
text: One cow
text: One pig - If possible a boar.
text: The beer at the feast is provided by both the giver and closely related members of his clan.
text: Ritual: The ritual is identical with that described below for the second Anitz and the Tchar Tsu festivals, except that the mithan and the bull are simply killed in front of two forked posts, and are not previously dragged round the village (vide infra). Members of the givers own phratries may be asked as well.
text: Privileges : The giver of Anitz is entitled a) to wear a cloth of which the ground colour is black, with several narrow stripes, and embroidered in red with symbolic representations of mithan horns.
text: b) To put bamboo splinters along the top of his roof, placed close together, and criss-cross. They may also be put on the field-house, granary, and graves of near relatives (Plate IV, Fig.2
text: c) Rough wooden models of wagtails (Metacilla sp.) may be put on the roof. The explanation of this is that the bobbings and pirouettings of wagtails are reminiscent of the movements of a dancer.
text: d) Two feathers of the Great Indian Hornbill (Dichoceros bicornis) may be worn in the ceremonial head-dress of the feaster.
text: e) The wife may wear a fringe to her body cloth.
text: f) She may wear a skirt elaborately striped with red and blue, and with a narrow white central strip.
text: g) Necklaces of cornelian beads, large white discs of conch shell, and crystal ear-rings may be worn by the women of the feaster's household, and by his female descendants in perpetuity.
text: h) In some villages a hanging fringe of thatch grass ( such as all Chang Nagas use ) may be put on the projecting roof of the house. In others, a projecting porch-roof is put on over the door ( Plate IV, Fig. 2