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: death in childbirth; apotia death
medium: notes
location: Asalu
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: Death in childbirth or through miscarriage is most unfortunate, and those dying so are very liable to become poltergeists or to haunt their former home. It is said that after such a death in a house near the upper dekachang of Asalu the rattle of dishes and the thud of dhan-pounding could be heard night after night from the deserted house.
text: All the dead woman's things are thrown away in the jungle. The young men do not watch the body and the entire funeral ceremonies are carried out by the old men, who also consume the funeral meats. Burial is outside the village, in the jungle. A young girl at Asalu who had died apotia was buried near her home, but not in the street; the house was abandoned and the grave unmarked.