The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter Twenty-six. Tribesmen Of Tirap
caption: belief in a supreme deity
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Wanchu
location: Niaunyu (Niaunu)
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 1962
text: Like the Konyaks of Wakching, the Wanchus also believe in a supreme deity, whom they call Zang-Bau. Regrettably my stay in Niaunu was not long enough to arrive at an understanding of the precise nature of this mythological figure. It would seem that the designation Zang-Bau suggests a divine pair, for some of my informants said that Zang lived in the sky, while Bau was located on the earth. This reminded me of the complex divine figures of the Apa Tanis and Daflas, who are also referred to by a double name, and consist of a male as well as a female entity. Whatever the nature of Zang-Bau, the Wanchus ascribe to this deity much the same attitude to men as the Konyaks attribute to Gawang. Lies, deceit and other evil deeds are supposed to arouse the wrath of Zang-Bau, who may punish offenders by bringing their life to a sudden end.