The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

miscellaneous papers, notebooks and letters on Nagas by Ursula Graham Bower, 1937-1947

caption: Halei-na genna
caption: third day. Ka-ntoa-na
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: 3rd day. Ka-ntoa-na.
text: In the morning the young men go fasting to a place near the path below the village, dig up a patch of ground, plant rice, and build halei-bao (conical structures of poles, like the poles of a wigwam, tied together with creeper; there are usually three, one within the other, and the rice inside the inner one) to protect the rice from pigs and goats, as if it were eaten, wild animals would destroy the crop. The planting used to be done by an old woman, but the custom has been abandoned.
text: The young man who plants the rice says: "We are performing the rice-plant ceremony. May the rice I plant here all come up, every bit of it."
text: Both dekachangs cut wood for the halei-bao, but take it in turns in alternate years to do the actual planting.
text: Later in the day, after the morning meal, the bucks and girls go off to the river and have an outing. In the village, which is not closed, eveything is made ready for the next day.