The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Village Organization Among the Central Nzemi Nagas', M.A. thesis by Ursula Betts

caption: Chapter three - the Ram or village community
caption: the individual's relations with the kienga
caption: final death ceremonies
medium: theses
ethnicgroup: Nzemi
person: Betts/ U.V.
date: 1950
refnum: M.A. thesis, University College, London
note: footnotes indicated by boxes within square brackets
text: As soon as the tingkhupeo (the senior village priest) has announced the date of Hga-ngi (which he does five or six days beforehand) the family of the dead man make ready the final offerings of food, drink and specimens of each kind of edible grain or root cultivated by the Nzemi. They notify the dead man's kienga of the type and size of monument they wish to have set up, and the kinsmen of the dead man, in consultation with representatives of the kienga, select suitable slabs. A few days before the final ceremonies these are dragged or carried in and set up over the grave-shaft. If a hekwoa platform of dry-stone masonry is desired, a more imposing and costly memorial, it is also set up at this time. The dead man's domestic family provide food and drink for the men of the kienga who work at these tasks, and though the transaction is not regarded as a payment it is customary to present them with a sum of money for the kienga fund. A large payment enhances the donor's prestige. [34 [Record T86794]