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: details of the ritual
caption: gifts of meat and drink
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Sangtam <Northern
date: 12.1947
person: Stonor/ C.R.
date: 1950
refnum: 'Anthropos', vol. XLV 1950
text: IV. Interpretation.
text: To gain a reasonably full understanding and knowledge of the Sangtam Feasts of Merit would require a period of prolonged residence and a good acquaintance with the language. Since neither of these conditions are likely to be fulfilled either by myself or by other investigators it seems justifiable to attempt a short analysis of the more prominent features of the ritual.
text: In the first place, as we have seen, there are elaborate rules for the supply and provision of beer, which in the first feasts is given to outside clans, and in the higher series entirely to the feasters own kindred, while it is provided sometimes by the feaster and sometimes by his kindred. This is indicative of the complex economics underlying the supply of liquor, which are apparently just as real and defined, if not so obvious, as in the case of the meat.