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: plant lore
medium: notes
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
date: 1937-1946
person: private collection
text: The wild fig-tree (v. story of Kangiena) is said to be the "priest of the trees". The old men say it is not safe to eat too many of its fruits or to eat them too often, because evil spirits sometimes go to the tree and if anyone eats a fig when one is there, the eater will die.
text: A mother who finds her milk scanty goes to a fig-tree and sits down before it and weeps, or pretends to weep, with bent head, and says, "Help me, be kind to me, my baby is not getting milk. Please show me kindness." By this the flow of milk will be increased.
text: Hatsa-tsi (millet?)
text: When a "puja" for illness is done it entails a fast for the sick man, and he had to go fasting to bed, he eats a little raw hatsa, first thing in the morning, washes his face, and is them free of all diet restrictions.
text: Says: "Hatsa ka'nosovukao teo-lu-zeo nra-ma' bam-lo", when eating (words optional); = "Millet (?) smooth-one having-eaten, them not-ill remain."