The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : 'Konyak Nagas' by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, (1969)

caption: Chapter Four. Religious Beliefs and Practices
caption: god in the likeness of a huge man, creator of the world
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.
date: 1969
refnum: with permission from Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York100:1
text: Konyaks thought of Gawang in anthropomorphic terms, and though his name meant "Earth-Sky," they imagined him in the likeness of a human being of immense size. There was no clear tradition as to Gawang's role in the creation of the world of man, but an old man of Wakching told me, "When Gawang made the earth and men, he made also the rice. We do not know how Gawang made man, but we say that we are his children. If we become rich or poor, it is due to Gawang; if we have plenty of food it comes from Gawang; if we get fever, Gawang has caused it." The latter remark would not have been supported by all Konyaks, for disease and suffering were usually attributed to minor spirits, known as Gashi, who lurked in evil places and would catch passers-by.