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: seventh day. Kan-tsi-na
medium: notes
ethnicgroup: Zemi
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: 7th day. Kan-tsi-na.
text: On this day, or any convenient day when going to the jhums, each man makes a little fenced square with four sticks and digs up the earth inside, and if he likes puts four sticks crossing them to represent a jhum with its crossing paths.
text: SKETCH
text: He sticks a branch at the intersection in the middle, where the field house would be, rubs his hands in the earth and says: "I am throwing away all the dirty things from my hands here. I am making my hands clean here." He then goes off to his jhums or wherever else he may be going.
text: The reason for this is, the Zemi say, that his hands might be "dirty" from the blood of enemies or from the blood of a deer, which is considered "bad", and to cultivate with dirty hands would be bad for the crop. Similarly a woman's hands might be "dirty" from menstruation or child-birth.