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: gennas
caption: laxity over gennas
medium: notes
location: Laisong
date: 24.1.1946
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Note: On 24.1.46 Laisong village performed the ceremony hapao-lia-na, making offerings similar to those at Heramui and calling all the "bara deo". Field-work was forbidden, but most of the village went off to fetch wood, etc. One elderly woman, previously perfectly well, went to bring wood, and on nearing the gate (and place of offerings) on her return felt chilly. She died at dusk that evening.
text: My dobashi attributed the death to laxity in performing the ceremony, remarking that in the Asalu group no one was allowed to leave until the offerings to each spirit had been properly completed; the blood of the sacrificed fowls must be allowed to run into the individual spirit's plate, and fowl after fowl killed, if necessary, until each offering has been properly made. He considered that the Laisong people's leaving before the priest announced the ceremony completed was the cause of the death (a spirit having seized on the dead woman) and said he had known a similar death after this ceremony occur at Asalu, and named the victim (Gumtuing's younger brother).