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: chief's son - ceremony after birth; marriage
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: KookieKhongjai
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: (59) Supposing the Raja had a son, five days after his birth, there would be a feast when they would shave his head, name him, bore his ears, and his mother after proper ceremonies would tie some of the feathers of a red fowl which had been sacrificed to the gods as a charm about his neck. All his relations come to the feast bringing with them what each is able of flesh and wine. When the boy has grown up, he associates with the young men of the village, and joins in all their sports and pastimes. Yearly they brew wine called, "Lomyoo," and on its ripening, they invite the young women of the village to a "blow out." If able, his father and mother now seek a wife for him, and she must be the daughter of a Raja. To her father they proceed, and presenting wine, they beg his daughter for their son. If he agrees the wine is drunk, what is to be given for the girl is asked, and a bargain concluded. The articles composing the girls price are taken together with wine to her house, and her relations having killed a methin or a pig, they all eat of it together. The party who brought the girls price, contend with the young men of the village at their games, and if in this contention bones are broken, no notice of it is taken. The games over, the girl must go to her husband's house; with this view she is dressed in all her finery, a gong is placed on her head as an umbrella, the hind leg of a methin and half of a pig are given to her, and having taken a sip of the well fumigated water of the pipe bowl, she parts amidst tears with her family. On reaching her husband's house, a feast is given to all who went for her. The eldest son on his marriage remains with his father, a younger son has a part of his father's subjects made over to him, and sets up for himself. In the manner of obtaining a wife there is no difference between the Raja's son and his lowest subject, except that the latter has not to pay the same high price for his partner.