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Folk-Lore/Volume 21/Some Nāga Customs and Superstitions

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SOME NĀGA CUSTOMS AND SUPERSTITIONS.

BY T. C. HODSON, EAST LONDON COLLEGE.

(Read at Meeting, June 1st, 1910.)

When I was busy with the census of 1900, a Nāga[1] once asked me what the census was for. Shrewdly enough he suspected an increase of taxation, but I was not to be drawn. I was near the truth when I told him that the Maharani was so interested in her Nāga subjects that she had sent me to find out how many of them she ruled over. It must have seemed to my questioner that I was engaged in rather a useless task if I was merely satisfying the curiosity of that distant mysterious personage whom many of them believed to be the wife of John Company, and therefore called Kumpinu, the feminine form of Kumpini. We are living in an age in which social problems are rigorously investigated by statistical and scientific methods. The interest of the State in the conservation and enhancement of the forces, social and economic, which repair continuously the wear and tear of the fabric of society, is now vivid and direct. More and more are we devoting our energy to the task of organising and preserving the raw material of the future. We talk of eugenics as if it were a new thing, but I suspect that it has a long history behind it. Simple communities such as those of the Nāga hills, as I think, do indeed recognise the social importance of these vital processes. Their recognition may at best be but imperfect, indirect, and subconscious. The rites they perform as organised communities in the active presence of these processes afford indications both of the nature of, and of the degree of intensity of, their feelings towards social phenomena. These rites are the outward expression of the faith that is in them. They are customary rites, and have therefore a peculiar extrinsic validity. As Hobhouse acutely remarked,—"At a low grade of reflection there is little room for doubting that at bottom custom is held sacred because it is custom. It is that which is handed on by tradition and forms the mould into which each new mind is cast as it grows up. Thus, while for society it is custom, for the individual it has something of the force of habit and more than habit."[2] I seek to show that in this small area, where with all its diversity of custom there is substantial homogeneity of culture, the end which these rites serve is often consciously realised as a social end, beneficial to them as organised communities. We have views as to causality in the physical world which are not theirs. The means they employ have in our eyes no sort of quantitative or qualitative relation to the ends they seek to compass.

"Felix qui potuit rerum cognescere causas."

Nāga communities are simple in structure. Here and there are groups of villages in political subordination to one large and powerful village, but Meithei rule has broken up and put an end to such troublesome agglomerations. The village groups of Mao and Maikel offer something more nearly resembling tribal unity. They are believed to be related, and legend attributes their present separation to a religious schism. In each case there is a common gennabura, or priest-chief, who exercises great but strictly constitutional authority in matters of ritual. Yet in matters of coiffure and costume there are tribal resemblances which, taken with linguistic identities, serve as tribal marks. To certain food tabus extending to members of tribes I shall recur presently. As a general rule it may be said that each village forms an independent, self-contained group. The natural environment makes for the multiplication of such small self-contained communities. Yet, where colonisation is recent, the colony,—if we may call it a colony,—preserves its connection with the mother village by regarding the same marriage regulations. A Nāga village consists of a number of clans, never less, as I found, than three, and sometimes as many as twelve or more. The usual story is that the village was founded by a band of brothers, who are often the eponyms of the clans. These clans each occupy a well-marked area or quarter of the village, and are not intermixed. Marriage is forbidden within the clan, so that the married women in any clan are always brought in from outside, from some other clan or from some other village. The tendency is for women to be taken from some clan in the same village rather than to introduce women from other villages, and they tell me that they would not marry women from a village whose dialect they do not understand, thus employing a rough linguistic test which in practice answers well enough. In one village I found that the four component clans were arranged in pairs. Each pair formed an exogamous whole, and the reason advanced for this was that they were related. Each clan is composed of a number of families, each owning a separate house. There yet remain villages where exist Bachelors* Halls, institutions which are, I fear, doomed to disappear, as modern methods of taxation tend to introduce modifications in the economic environment, with corresponding changes in social structure. The Bachelors' Hall is an institution which is found in many parts of the world. In this area it is universal in some form or other. In Meithei literature reference to the Pākhonvāl and to the Ningonvāl to the Pākhonlakpa, to the Nahārakpa, and to the Ningonlakpa is constant, thus proving that there they had the Bachelors' Hall, the Spinsters' Hall, and officials to look after the young unmarriageable males, the young marriageable males, and the unmarried girls. From the Nāgas of the north[3] to the Lushais[4] on the south comes evidence that these houses for the men were strictly forbidden to women.

It seems that married men were bound to live in the Men's House till old age, visiting their wives by stealth and at night only. I know of cases where the men live in the Men's House till marriage, and we have, as I have pointed out above, the household system where the paterfamilias, his wife, and children live together under one roof, until the sons and daughters marry and depart. This separation of the sexes, whether in its modified form or in its severer mode, is a social fact of importance related to social structure. The earliest differentiation of function in economics follows the line of cleavage by sex.[5] In these communities where the men must wive themselves from another clan, the women, if married, are ex hypothesi daughters of another clan, and, if unmarried, are at least prospectively associates of some other clan. The permanent element is therefore small. Yet women are recognised as part and parcel of the village or clan in which they happen to be, whether as wives or as daughters, since some of the cultivation rites demand the active presence and co-operation of the women of the village. The beginning and the end of the cultivating season are celebrated by a village genna or communal festival, the most conspicuous feature of which is the tug-of-war between the women and the girls on one side and the men and the boys on the other. What is with the Nāgas a serious business has become among the Meitheis a mere pastime, since we find mention in the Meithei Chronicles of the pleasure which barbarous royalty took on occasion in similar tugs-of-war.

Eschatological belief often affords valuable light on customs otherwise difficult of explanation. It emphasises the division of the village communities by sex. Colonel Shakespear tells us that Pupaola always shoots at women, and that the dead at whom he shoots drink of the waters of Lethe, and are never minded to return to earth.[6] The heaven which serves as a baby factory, as Mr. Hartland calls it, is open only to certain meritorious males, especially to those who have been beloved of many women, a belief also found among the Garos.[7]

Among the Mao Nāgas is held the belief that a grim deity stands at the gates of heaven and guards against intrusion, so that the warrior must needs enter the kingdom of heaven by violence and fight with the warder of its gates.[8] This belief regulates mortuary ritual.[9] The implements put in a woman's grave are certainly of very little use for combat with a stalwart deity.

In fact the line of cleavage is primarily by sex, both in heaven and on earth. The Nāga heaven is divided into many mansions, which afford an interesting, though indirect, light on their own views of social segmentation. It is true and natural that these beliefs are not very distinct and clear.

Here and there in this area, but not among Nāga tribes, we find legends that the first man was born from an egg. As a rule the Nāga legend brings their progenitor from the bowels of the earth,—already a married man, accompanied by a family. Since then, the supply of ready-made families has ceased. When working at the eschatological beliefs of the Nāgas recently, I observed that a belief, perhaps rather a tattered belief, in the reincarnation of the good and the annihilation of the bad was a cardinal feature of their system. I have been assured that incontestable proof of the truth of this belief, that men when dead return to life, is afforded by the startling likeness which children are seen to bear to some deceased relative. Nāga society does not always renew itself with new material. It sometimes gets old stuff back again from the stores of vital essence. Colonel Shakespear tells us how the Lushais believe that, "after a certain period in one of these two abodes of departed spirits, the spirit is born again as a hornet and after a time assumes the form of water, and if, in the form of dew, it falls on a man, it is reborn as his child.[10] I have pointed above to beliefs which seem to give warrant for the view that only men are eligible for the intermediate heaven from which return to earth is possible. We find among the Nāga tribes that, if a woman died in childbirth, (an event of rare occurrence), the child was never allowed to live, because they believed it to be an evil spirit, a disembodied ghost, incarnated in the mother whose death it had caused.

What is the explanation of the rule which forbids unmarried girls to eat the flesh of male animals.[11] I own that I lean to the suspicion that Nāga ideas as to the conception and procreation of children might not be found to be altogether in accord with modern gynæcology.

Age and physical and social maturity[12] mark important stages of social cleavage. McCulloch[13] noted that children up to eleven or twelve years of age and old people in Manipur are exempt from Hindu laws of dietary, and throughout this area the stages of society are reckoned by age, and physical and social maturity are marked by external and characteristic distinctions of coiffure, costume, and ornament.

Up to puberty the children are marked by having their hair closely cut all over, except for a tuft at the point of the skull. At puberty boys and girls alike let their hair grow, and it is often said that it is disgraceful for a girl to have a baby of her own before she has got long hair. Among the Tangkhuls, in those villages in the north where the women are still tattooed, this is done at puberty. The girls generally go to another village, if possible one in which they have a maternal uncle. They are kept under strict tabus, and the operation is so painful that it is often done in instalments. The object of the practice of tattooing the women was given to me as the desire to identify their wives in the afterworld. It is therefore a pre-nuptial or quasi-initiatory rite. If women do not go to heaven, the practice would fail to achieve its object. This inconsistency may be more apparent than real. Perhaps there is a side door to heaven,—"For ladies only." Since the men of the northern Tangkhul villages were renowned for their prowess, it was observed that their daughters were eagerly sought in marriage, as any harm to them was immediately and fiercely avenged. I was once touring among the Southern Tangkhuls, and met some lads wearing their hair combed down in front in the way of the unmarried girls in Manipur. Some of them had black spots on the sides and tip of the nose, and I learnt that these lads had reached the age for marriage and thus advertised the fact. Among Nāgas the custom of head-hunting is associated with and regarded as proof of physical maturity, and therefore as evidence of social maturity and fitness for marriage,[14] which is paralleled by an interesting survival in Manipur. The eldest son of the Raja is required, on attaining the age of twelve years, to take the silver-hilted dao which the king of Pong, the Shan kingdom, presented to King Khāgenba, and to go into the jungle and there to cut twelve bundles of firewood, and bring them home as proof of his courage and strength.[15] Among the Tangkhuls we have, if the house tax has not by now entirely obliterated it, a custom by which, on marriage, a man succeeded to his father's office, if his father happened to be a village office holder, and also occupied his father's house, turning out the old people, who seem to have been allowed to return after a short while and then to live in an inferior portion of the house. The effect, if not the purpose, of this custom, in so far as it relates to village offices, is to secure continuously for the office a man in the plenitude of his strength, physical and mental. No one who is physically deformed or of weak intellect is allowed to hold office. The Tangkhul Nāgas also assume the ring at puberty, and in some Kabul villages there is a village genna or communal rite for the unmarried boys and girls. Dr. Webster asserts that the presence in a primitive community of the men's house in any one of its numerous forms points strongly to the existence, now or in the past, of secret initiation ceremonies.[16] I cannot say that I have definite knowledge of any puberty or secret initiation rites performed in the Bachelors' Hall. I think it reasonable to regard the facts I have cited as evidence of an organised appreciation of the importance of this stage in the growth of the individual tribesman, so that social and physical maturity are here not far apart.

A distinction is made in Nāga ethics between the married and the unmarried, as if they regarded marriage as not only in its social aspect a mark of full tribesmanship, but from another and more intimate point of view as in itself a liberal education. Theft, we learn, is more severely punished when the offender is a married man than when he is a callow youth.[17] The subtleties of the lav/ are thus not unknown in the rarefied atmosphere of these hills. In mortuary ritual, too, a marked difference is made between the married and the unmarried, and their respective duties are strictly defined.[18] The relations of the sexes before marriage are lax in the extreme, while after marriage the strictest chastity and connubial virtue are exacted. Davis, a most competent observer, declares that the prenuptial "lover would, as a rule, belong to the girl's own khel and would be a man whom it would be impossible for her to marry in any case."[19] For the moment I only wish to emphasise the fact that a change in status is effected by marriage and brings with it an absolute and unconditional liability to the fundamental laws of this form of society. No village would tolerate in its midst a couple who sought to live together as a married couple when they were forbidden to do so by the law of exogamy. Indeed I have often asked directly what would happen if a couple did thus break the law and live together. I was assured that such a thing was impossible, that, if it did happen, they would be driven from the village and be outlawed, outcast, at the mercy of anyone who might choose to kill them, and that, were such marriages permitted, some dire mysterious misfortune would surely happen to the village. If a young couple do not regularly complete the marriage ceremony, and omit that important part the payment of the price, they are not allowed to eat or drink in the house of the girl's parents till the price is paid to the last farthing. Here, at least, there is no natural repulsion between those who have been brought up in close intercourse.[20] Marriage is the fact which for ever after keeps them apart.

All their gennas or communal rites are accompanied by special food tabus, followed by communal feasts at which men and women eat and cook apart. The little society is thus temporarily resolved into its primal elements, which are reaggregated at the end of the ceremony, when their normal commensality is resumed. Nervous exaltation is conspicuous on these occasions. I have often wondered whether savages such as these are more sensitive than civilised men to nervous crises and physical changes. They brood on them, and by anticipation enhance their intensity. They augment their sensibility by sudden alternations of fasting and feasting.[21] These festivals (gennas, as, after Davis,[22] they are specially termed in Assam), are characterised by temporary food tabus, by temporary disturbances of the normal social relations, commensal and conjugal. They are the means by which all events possessing social importance are celebrated. I shall have to recur presently to this aspect of their life, but now seek to draw your attention to the permanent food tabus which mark the lines of social structure. In emphasis of the sexual solidarity of these communities, we find that, among the Tangkhul Nāgas, women and girls are not allowed to eat dog. In other villages pork is forbidden to them and allowed to the men. As a general rule, the food regulations are relaxed for young children and for the aged. Unmarried but marriageable girls are not allowed to eat the flesh of any male animal. Women with child may not eat the flesh of any animal that has died with young. To them is forbidden the flesh of any animal that has died a natural death as we classify natural deaths, and, by a rather interesting amplification of the category of natural deaths, of any animal that has been killed by a tiger. Here and there I have found evidence of permanent food tabus affecting single clans, and therefore separating them from other clans in the same village. There are whole groups of villages which are subject to a common food tabu, which serves, therefore, as a rough test of tribesmanship. The Tangkhuls do not eat or keep goats. The Maram villagers do not eat pork, and have imposed this tabu on villages which they have conquered. They tell a tale about it which, though doubtless aetiological, seems to indicate a connection between food tabus and the law of marriage. Another important element in the structure of society is sharply and permanently demarcated by food tabus. To the priest-chief, whose sanctity is of a high and special order, necessitating many protective measures, are denied many articles of food otherwise allowed to his fellow villagers. His wife is equally subject to these food tabus, so that she bears a double burden, that of her sex and that of intimacy with so distinguished a lord and master. The first fruits of the cultivation are forbidden to the village until the priest-chief has put his hand to the harvest, thus rendering it available for all.

Even the food tabus which for a moment I classified as temporary may be categorised legitimately as permanent, because they are imposed not by individual choice or caprice, but of necessity, whenever events occur which are held to demand such measures. They are relaxed when the crisis is overpast, and are therefore as much part and parcel of the laws of society as are the permanent tabus. No doubt many of them "depend," as Tylor observed,[23] "on the belief that the qualities of the eaten pass into the eater," but they have been incorporated into the fabric of society, and have therefore and thereby acquired a special significance. Salomon Reinach invites us to accept tabu as the basis of religion, "un ensemble," as he calls it, "de scrupules qui font obstacle au libre exercice de nos facultés." He goes further, and asserts that "la sanction prévue, en cas de violation du tabou, n'est pas une pénalite édictée par la loi civile, mais une calamité, telle que la mort ou la cécité qui frappe le coupable."[24] The criticism which I have to offer on this passage, and especially on the concluding portion of it, is that the penalty attaching to a breach of these social laws is in this area distinctly and unmistakably social, not individual. If the priest-chief eats food which is forbidden, the village may suffer a plague of boils, or of blindness. If a warrior eats food cooked by a woman before a raid, the whole enterprise will go wrong and all his companions be exposed to danger. If parents taste oil or pulse while the hair-cutting genna is in progress, the child will suffer. Just in this way the sin of Achan, who took the accursed thing, brought defeat and misfortune on the people of Israel. The strength of the genna system among the Nāgas lies, therefore, in the indirectness and uncertainty of its sanctions.[25] A violation of a tabu on hunting during the cultivating season would,—specifically,—bring about a shortage of rice, but any subsequent misfortune would be attributed to it. If all may suffer for the default of one, it becomes the business of each to see that his neighbour keeps the law. If not the germ of altruism, is not this conducive to altruism? I have exploited this social solidarity in a severely practical manner when dealing as a judicial officer with village and other disputes. But rarely was the penalty, death or such other misfortune as an active imagination might suggest, invoked in their oaths upon a single person. The members of his family in ordinary matters, of his clan in more serious cases, and in extreme matters of the whole village, were rendered liable to the penalty invoked in the imprecation which forms so important and characteristic a part of the Nāga oath. I did but follow their own custom, often at their own suggestion.

I find that we may estimate the importance of any event that takes place in the midst of Nāga communities in terms of genna. First, I consider the social unit affected by the genna appropriate to the particular occasion, and then I reckon the duration and intensity of the genna in question. My method may not be strictly scientific, but it does at least employ a standard measure of the country. By this method we must place birth gennas rather low in the scale. It costs less to be born than to be buried all the world over. We can carry our classification of birth gennas to some degree of accuracy, for it is usual to hold a genna on the birth of the young of any domestic animal in the house. The scale has been worked out elaborately in one village, Mayong-khong, where I learnt that chickens got one day, kittens and puppies two days, pigs three days, and calves five days. Only the eldest child gets as much as a calf, while the second and other children only rank with the pigs. Elsewhere the scale is kinder to man, for at Maikel the eldest child gets a genna for a month, and the second one for fifteen days, while a calf gets five days, and puppies and pigs only have one day. It is often usual to vary the genna according to the sex of the child, allowing a day longer to a boy than to a girl. Only the parents are affected by the birth genna, a fact of some importance as proving that the community as a whole does not recognise any direct interest in the event. What is also of interest is that, as among the Tangkhuls, the father is genna for a longer time than the mother, and that the gennas are stricter in his case than for his wife. He may not work, and the solace of a pipe. is denied to him. This genna seems to be more severe in those villages where the husband acts as the midwife. Among the Tangkhuls, too, the father gives the child its first food. He chews a few grains of rice, and then puts them in the child's mouth. Is this a sort of acknowledgment of paternity? Is it the assertion of a claim? Is it,—intentionally,—designed to create a bond between father and child? I myself regard it as in part explained by the fact that "C'est le premier pas qui coûte."[26] Just as the Gennabura sets free the new crop of rice by tasting it himself, so the father, who is the sacrificing authority inside the house, sets the child free to eat the staple of his adult life. It is a rite of aggregation and une levée de tabou. In cases where the marriage rites have not been duly completed before a child is born, provided the couple might otherwise marry, the father is often required to acknowledge formally the paternity of the child, which is then allowed to live. Were he to deny paternity, or if the couple might not marry, the child would not be reared. Marriage has therefore the effect of "legitimising" the children. Is pater quem nuptiae demonstrant.

At Maolong, a Quoireng Nāga village, where the birth genna for a calf lasts for a month, the same period as for a child, I was told that the fowl killed by the father when the child was born was eaten by the mother, and that the father was not allowed to taste it. In the same village I learnt that no one was allowed to eat the flesh of a dog or goat that has been sacrificed for them. In other villages the diet of the proud parents during the birth genna is fish and salt. Yet again in others fish and fowls only are allowed. The Kukis are not so strict about the rule enjoining the parents to have no contact with the rest of the village, for they allow drinks to be given by them to all, except the unmarried. Nearly all sacrifices are in part used as occasions for taking omens, and the fowl killed at the birth genna affords excellent omens. They watch the convulsive struggles of its feet in the death agony, and, if the left foot crosses over the right foot, the future is believed to be favourable for the child. I have been told that the sacrifice of the fowl was in worship of the inumg lai, the household deity, but I realise that by employing a Meithei term my Nāga informants may quite unconsciously have given their own custom a colour and meaning which it does not properly possess. Meithei is the lingua franca of this part of the hills, and in nearly every village there is some one who knows Meithei well enough to act as interpreter, for the multiplicity of dialects is so great as to make a first-hand knowledge of each dialect impossible. As we find that the food prohibitions at the time of ear-piercing and hair-cutting are intended to save the child from harm, or rather that a breach of these prohibitions brings harm to the child, not to the parents, it seems not unreasonable to attach the same or a similar significance to the food prohibitions imposed during the period of the birth genna, and to think that the sacrifice then made may be in part an act of worship, in part designed to afford an omen, in part to absorb and remove impurity, and in part protective Where, as here, a belief in evil spirits is common, women before, during, and after childbirth are peculiarly exposed to malignant influences, I have come across rites such as the worship of the River spirit and of the lairen (python) which are intended to procure an easy delivery. In some Kabui villages I was told that an unmarried lad,—not yet arrived at puberty,—accompanied women to the village spring after the birth genna was over, armed with a spear to protect his companion from evil spirits.

The birth gennas are entirely matters for the household, and, if I may continue to employ gennas as the standard of measure, I would infer that the household is thus recognised as a religious unit in the social structure, and that the child is thus made a member of the household only. The gennas for name-giving, ear-piercing, and hair-cutting are also as a rule household gennas, though McCulloch states that "in February (of each year) there is a festival of three days continuance in which the ears of the children born after the last festival of this nature are pierced. This festival loses its interest for those who have frequently participated in it, and is looked forward to chiefly by those for whom it is new."[27] I am not sure from this whether or not the festival is looked forward to by the babies, but my reason for quoting the passage is to show that it may mean that this was a village genna like the other festivals which he was describing, not, as I found it elsewhere, a household genna. I find that at Maolong, a Kabul village, there is a village genna for unmarried boys and girls held annually (which may be a rite of initiation, and, if so, demands further investigation), and one for cutting the children's hair. As an example of the variety in local custom, I may say that my notebook shows that at almost the next village the child's hair is cut during the birth genna, and that the ear-piercing takes place during November or December at the mangla tha, the genna when the annual ceremony on behalf of the dead is performed. But there is no departure from the rule that the birth genua proper extends to the parents only, and is purely a household affair. The marriage gennas are similarly private matters, but the clans of the contracting parties take part in the rites. The smallest social unit that takes part in a death genna is the clan, while there are occasions on which the participation of the whole village is obligatory on account of the manner of the death of the departed tribesman.

There are some odd items of information about children which may perhaps be mentioned. There seems to be a general agreement that twins, boy and girl, forebode bad luck. Some say that twin boys bring good luck to the whole village, while twin girls keep the good results to their parents. Some again say that children born out of wedlock bring good luck, but I suspect that they mean the children of people who are free to marry, since the marriage laws are strict enough. They interpret a dream of putting a hen in a basket as meaning that a girl child will be born to the dreamer soon. Dreaming of water is always a good sign, and we may connect this with the worship of the river spirit performed before the birth of a child. To dream of a tiger is good at marriage, but of bad import at other times. To dream that an unmarried girl has a child is usually interpreted as a sign of good crops or of other prosperity.

In this sketch I have tried on a small scale to bring birth customs into relation with social structure viewed from several aspects, and, while I am fully conscious of the many gaps in my information, due perhaps to the difficulties under which my work was carried on, yet I think I have shown the main features of the rites which express the interest of Nāga society in the processes which repair the ravages which death causes in its fabric.


  1. Nāga is generally derived from Assamese nauga (naked), and has nothing to do with nāg (snake). The Nāga tribes and their congeners,—Abors, Mishmis, Daflas, and Miris on the north; Kukis and Lushais on the south; Chins and Singphos on the east; and Garos, Kacharis, Tipperahs, and Mikirs on the west,—speak dialects which are members of the Tibeto-Burman group of Indo-Chinese languages.
  2. Transactions of the Third Congress for the History of Religions, vol. ii., p. 435.
  3. Peal, "On the Morong," (Bachelors' Hall), The Journal of the Anthropological Institute etc., vol. xxii., p. 248.
  4. Shakespear, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute etc.', vol. xxxix., p. 374.
  5. Hobhouse, Morals in Evolution, vol. i., p. 173; Westermarck, The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas, vol. i., pp. 633 et seq.
  6. The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute etc., vol. xxxix., pp. 379-80.
  7. Playfair, The Garos, p. 104.
  8. Linguistic Survey of India, vol. iii., part ii., p. 461.
  9. Archiv fur Religionswissenschaft, vol xii., pp. 447 et seq.
  10. Ethnography of India, pp. 225-6.
  11. Cf. Marett, The Threshold of Religion, p. 104; Anthropological Essays presented to E. B. Tylor etc., p. 228.
  12. Van Gennep, Rites de Passage, p. 94.
  13. McCulloch, Account of Mannipore etc., p. 17.
  14. Cf. vol. XX., p. 141.
  15. The Meitheis, p. 114.
  16. Primitive Secret Societies, p. 16.
  17. McCulloch, op. cit., p. 17
  18. Hodson, Archiv für Religionsvoissenschaft, vol. xii., p. 449.
  19. Assam Census Report, 1891, vol. i., p. 250.
  20. Cf. Thomas, "Origin of Exogamy," Anthropological Essays presented to E. B. Tylor etc., p. 20.
  21. Cf. Webster, Primitive Secret Societies, p. 47, on "Hyperaesthesia."
  22. Assam Census Report, 1891, vol. i., p. 249.
  23. Early History of Mankind, p. 131.
  24. Orpheus, pp. 4, 5.
  25. Cf. Archiv für Religionswissensckaft, vol. xii., p. 451.
  26. Cf. Van Gennep, Rites de Passage, pp. 249-50.
  27. Op. Cit., p. 53.