The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Account of the valley of Munnipore and of the Hill Tribes' by Major W. McCulloch

caption: house building; superstition
medium: articles
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: Connected with the making of their houses are many superstitious practices. First, the house must be commenced on a lucky day, and that day having been fixed by the astrologer; on it, (it makes no difference whether the other materials are ready or not) the first post is erected. The post is bound towards the top with a band of cloth over which is tied a wreath of leaves and flowers. Milk, juice of the sugar-cane and ghee are poured upon the lower extremity, and into the hole in the ground in which it is to be fixed are put a little gold and silver. The number of bamboos forming the body of the frame for the thatch must not be equal on the North and South sides. If they were so, misfortune, they consider, would overtake the family. The other superstitions of the same kind are too numerous to mention. And it is not merely in reference to their houses that they are superstitious; they are so in every matter. Superstition constantly sends them to consult their maibees and pundits, who earn and easy livelihood by prescribing remedies to allay their fears.