Tangkhul Naga funeral

The Process of Tangkhul Naga funeral at Ukhrul village. Information based on catalogue compiled by photographer Ursula Graham Bower in February 1939

Tangkhul Naga funeral at Ukhrul village

The graves are hollowed out some seven to eight feet underground. The shaft is large enough to admit a man and a body on a stretcher. This shaft leads to the opening of an underground chamber, into which the body on the stretcher can be passed. These tombs are re-usable. I understand that consideration is had to the date of the last burial; in this case the tomb had not been used for some 30 years. There was natural aversion to rapid re-use of a tomb in which was a still-decaying body, but this was a point on which I found it difficult to get details. After the shaft had opened, the next-of-kin of the man last interred, went down and entered the chamber carrying a cloth, in which he bundled up the bones. These were brought to the surface, where the bones were carefully checked over and washed with rice beer. When it was certain that none were missing, they were repacked in the cloth and returned to a corner of the tomb and the second body was then buried. An old man breaks the dead man’s platter and pours rice beer at the side of the grave to be opened.

Note:  Its interesting to note that Hunphun people were practicing re-usable tombs. The process is also an interesting one. They dug out and open the shaft. After the shaft had opened, the next-of-kin of the man last interred, went down and entered the chamber carrying a cloth, in which he bundled up the bones. These were brought to the surface, where the bones were carefully checked over and washed with rice beer. When it was certain that none were missing, they were repacked in the cloth and returned to a corner of the tomb and the second body was then buried. An old man breaks the dead man’s platter and pours rice beer at the side of the grave to be opened.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s