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: dangers of being well-known or famous
medium: notes
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Hamui (hamui-hera)
text: The unusually well-known or famous or anyone liable to be talked about is apt to become weighed down or weakened by being mentioned by so many people; he gets low fever, and suffers from weakness, coughs, colds, malaise and disorders generally. To cure this, a special ceremony is carried out, with a deer's foot, a cock, or a dog as a sacrifice. Anyone having performed the ceremony with say, a dog, cannot perform it again with anything less, as a cock, but must sacrifice at least a dog. Naga dobashis and other public persons perform the ceremony frequently to avoid any evil consequences of being well-known. If a man falls ill and suspects it is due to "hamui", he takes a piece of ginger, puts spittle on it and throws it outside the house last thing at nightime after addressing the spirit responsible and promising to perform the right ceremony if cured, but assuring the spirit that he will not offer anything if he does not get better he will not offer anything if he does not get better. If his dreams are bad that night he repeats the throwing the following night. (Have seen my dobashi do this in the bungalow, pending leave when he could perform the proper ceremony.)