The Sangtams have about 12 festivals spreading over
the calendars year including some special functions. Expect certain
gennas, all the festivals are concerned with food production, blessing
and prosperity. AMONGMONG is one of the most important festival of the
Sangtam. The predominant theme of the festival is the worship of the god
of the house and the three cooking stone in the fireplace.
The festival is observed in the first week of September every year.
After toiling for several months during the year and when the crops are
reaped for harvest, the green signal to start the celebration of
AMONGMONG festival is given by the village priest called “BEBURU” with
due prayers and rites. At the death of the night the priest will
announce / proclaim the “ZANGNYOU MONGMONG NUNG EH-LEHE”. The next
morning another priest will read the proclamation. Then the villagers
will being preparation for the festival by accumulating food stuff,
firewood and special wine like ROHI and MADHU. The announcement donate
the separation of the spirit of the dead from the living during
AMONGMONG festival. Also nobody would like to inherit the sin of the
dead and any kind of sinful deeds. Thus throughout AMONGMONG festival, a
line is drawn between the dead and the living.
AMONGMONG festival which mean togetherness
forever, is very cautiously observed every year and stretched over six
days. The object is to have a good harvest, food grains for which the
villager have toiled for throughout the whole year. The figure “6” also
bear a great significance among the forefathers as the figure “7” was
among the Hebrews. For example, when a man brings an enemies head from
war. He keeps himself undefiled and observe genna for 6 days . A male
baby is christened on the 6th day. If a man dies the deceased’s family
would mourn for 6 days.
Each day of the festival has got its own
significance. Thus the first day, that is September 1 is called “SINGKITHSA”.
This day is marked by the closing of all transaction relating to
purchase of domestic animals like pigs, cow, Mithuns and roping them.
Beside preparing and collecting of food stuff the villagers also engage
themselves in collection of firewood and vegetables and millets from the
old fields. While colleting the firewood and water continuous on the
second day, the roped domestic animals are also killed. After setting
aside some portion for the feast, the meat is distributed among the team
members of the group called “ATHIRÜ” and “AKHINGRÜ”. This male and
female groups are organized according to the age group primarily for
working together in the field of every member of the team in turn.
During AMONGMONG festival, special meal are arranged
in the house of the treasurer of the respective group / team. On the
other hand the meat of animals killed by rich individuals is generally
shared among relatives, neighbours and friends. The day is called “SINKITHSA”.
The third day is “MÜSÜYANGTAP” – day of worshipping the three oven
stones by one and all In the early morning of the third day of
celebration, the oldest woman of the household perform the ritual by
placing gum rice shaped into balls on the top of the three stones and
pouring little wine on these stones believing that the god (LIJABA) is
represented by these stone. Until the ritual is completed, nobody in the
house is allowed to taste food and even animals are not fed. This
performance normally takes a short time only. But great care is taken
during the ritual lest it is eaten up by some domestic animals which is
believed to be the sign of some misfortune or wrath of the Devil.
On these three days villagers will neither go to
fields nor outside the village as according to the belief this action
would bring calamities and also damage the crops. Again at dawn, the
priest would go to the village well and first draw water very carefully.
This would be followed by other people waiting there. But each one of
them must cover his/her head with green leaves. Lest he or she is
attacked by cholera. The day is celebrated with children playing among
themselves with gay dresses and the young people in their festive best
gather in the dormitory and exchange songs of bravery. In course of
time. There are usually joined by their girlfriends. The whole day is
devoted to drinking of rice beers, dancing, tug of war and other
The fourth day is called KIKHA-LANGPI. The male
population of the village would give a face-lift to the village. Here
again, the priest will first start clearing the weeds which is followed
by all other villagers. Path leading to the fields, inter-village roads,
village wells and springs are cleaned. On returning home every grown-up
male member will contribute meat and wine and feast together in the
house of the village priest. There they re-affirm mutual friendship. In
short, it is a day of special gathering and feasting. The wife of the
house puts chilies, ginger and cotton in green leaves called “TSIDONG”
and put them in the field or outside the village., as according to the
belief this action would ward off calamities and prevent damage of
The fifth day is called “SHILANG WUBA NYUNONG”. On
this day the villager pay visit to relatives, friends and neighboring
villages, sharing of meal, drinking and exchange of gifts in the form of
meat take place. The last day of the festival is called “AKATISINGKITHSA”.
From this day harvesting starts. On successful completion of the 6th day
celebration of AMONGMONG the Sangtam tribe believe that their god is
well pleased and hope for blessing from him to have rich harvest and
good health in the family.