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SEKRENYI - ANGAMI TRIBE

The Angamis celebrate a ten-day festival calledSekrenyi (sometimes also called Phousanyi) in February. The term Sekrenyiliterally means sanctification festival (sekre =sanctification; nyi =feast; thenyi =festival). The festival takes places after the harvest and falls on the twenty-fifth day of the month Kezei (January–February).

The festival follows a circle of ritual and ceremony, the first being kizie. A few drops of rice water taken from the top of a type of jug called zumho are put on leaves. These are placed at the three main posts of the house by the lady of the household.On the first day, the young and old go to the village well to bathe.

In the night, two young men clean the well. Some of the villageyouth guard the well, as no one is allowed to fetch water after the cleaning.As women are especially not allowed to touch the well water at this time, they must make sure that water is fetched for the household before then. Early next morning, all the young men of the village attend the washing ritual. They wear two new shawls (the white Mhoushü and the black Lohe) and sprinkle water on their chests, knees, and right arms. This ceremony is called dzüseva('touching the sleeping water'); in it, the well water symbolically washes away all their ills and misfortunes.

On their return from the well, a rooster is sacrificed. Itis taken as a good omen when the right leg falls over the left leg as it falls down. The innards of the rooster are then hung outside the house for the village elders to inspect. A three-day session of singing and feasting starts on the fourth day of the festival.

 

The most interesting part is the thekra   hie. The thekra hie is when the young people of the village sit together and sing traditional songs throughout the day. Jugs of rice beer and plates of meat are placed before the participants. On the seventh day, the young men go hunting. The most important ceremony falls on the eighth day when the bridge-pulling, or gate-pulling, is performed and inter-village visits are exchanged. All field work ceases during this season of feasting and song.