The Angamis celebrate SEKRENYI in the month of
February. It normally falls on the 25th day of the Angami month of “KEZEI”.
The ten day festival is also called PHOSANYI by the Angamis. The
festival follows a circle of ritual and ceremony, the first being “KIZIE”.
A few drops of rice water taken from the top of the jug, called “JUMHO”,
are put into leaves and place at the three main post of the house by
the lady of the household.
The first day beings with all young men going to the village well to
bathe. In the night, two young men will go to the well to clean it. Some
of the village youth guard the well in the night as no one is allowed to
fetch water after cleaning the well. The womenfolk, especially, are not
allowed to touch the well-water. Hence they have to see that water is
fetched for the household before the well cleaning.
Early next morning, all the young men of the village rise to wash
themselves at the well. The whole process is carried out in a
ritualistic manner. The young men will don two new shawls (the white
Mhoushü and the black Lohe) and sprinkle water on their breast, knees
and on their right arm. This ceremony is called “DZUSEVA” (touching the
sleeping water) and it assures them that all their ills and misfortunes
have been washed away by the purified well-water.
On their return from the well a cock is sacrificed by throttling it
with the bare hands. It is taken as a good omen when the right leg falls
over the left leg as the cock falls down. The innards of the fowl are
taken out and hung outside the house for the village elders to come and
inspect it. Beginning from the fourth day of the festival, a three day
session of singing and feasting starts.
The THEKRA HIE is the best part of the festival where the young
people of the village 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 for hunting. The most important ceremony
falls on the eight day when the bridge pulling or gate pulling ceremony
is performed or inter village visits are exchanged. Until the close of
the festival, no one goes to the fields and all field works cease during
the season of feasting and song. The young unmarried girls with closely
shaven heads sit down with the bronzed youth and sing tunes of bygone
ages, recreating a past where no care touched the human soul.