Celebration of Amongmong Festival
The people of Sangtam tribe offer their respects and prayers once the seeds sown in their fertile lands begin to nurture and grow. The prayers are for a very thriving cultivation. The purpose of the Mongmong festival is to distinguish the dead from the living. The separation of the two is the true essence of the festival.
During the festivities, the religious advocate in charge of the district known as Beburu, recites a certain rite twice. Recitation of the prayer is done once in the evening and once in the morning. The Morning Prayer is considered rather more powerful and brings prosperity. Whereas, the prayer constituted in the evening is forged for the banishment of evil spirits that linger around their lands and proliferate bad vibes.
The main objective of the festival is to have a good harvest. Each day of the festival has its own significance. The first day is called Singkitshsa, which is marked by closing of all transaction that are related to purchase of domestic animals like pigs, cow, Mithuns and roping them. Preparing and collection of food stuff is done on that day. On the second day, the roped domestic animals are killed. After setting aside some portion for the feast, the meat is distributed among the team members of a group called athiru and akhingru.
The third day is known as Musuyangtap and it is a day of worshipping the three oven stones. The oldest woman of the household perform this ritual by placing gum rice balls on the top of the stones and pouring little wine on these stones. God lijaba is represented by this stone.
On these three days, the villagers will neither go to fields nor outside the village as this is believed to bring calamities. As dawn sets in the priest would go to the village well and draw water carefully. Others would follow him. Each one of them must cover their head with green leaves else they would be affected by cholera.
The fourth day is called kikha-langpi and the day is spent cleaning. And on the last and final day, known as ‘shilang wuba nyunong’, the villagers visit relatives, friends and neighbouring villages, sharing meal and drinks. The Amongmong festival is a sort of a thanksgiving to Mother Earth.