The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - J.H. Hutton, Diaries of Two Tours in the Unadministered Area East of the Naga Hills', 1926

caption: Second Tour
caption: Christians in Changtongia; miniature machans with pipes erected as defence against an evil spirit at Ungr; pipe as love token; sexual act;
medium: articlestours
location: Chantongia (Changtongia) Mongsenyimti (Mongsemdi) Ungri (Ungr)
date: 25.10.1923-29.10.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 10.1923-11.1923
text: Oct. 25th to 27th. - Through Tamlu to Merangkong.
text: Oct. 28th. - To Changtongia. A schismatic Church has arisen here, the original Christians having been separated off into a different village, and those who did not want to leave the old village have founded a Church of their own inside it, with the usual resultant disputes.
text: Oct. 29th - -To Mongsemdi. Raining when we started, and cold and sunless all day. Outside Ungr we found a curious looking arrangement of two miniature ' machans (platforms) put up not far from one another and close to the public road. On each was a couple of tobacco pipes. I learn on enquiry that a man of Chuchu had here met a young woman of Ungr, and had intercourse with her at these two spots and that an evil spirit has taken advantage of the opportunity to attack him. The machans were erected on the exact places and the pipes put on the machans in order that the illness might be put away with them. Pipes are selected because the interchange of pipes is a love token between young couples. At the ceremony accompanying the erection of the miniature machans the sexual act is repeated symbolically by ramming earth and water into nodes of bamboo with a pretence of secrecy.