NETMA/KHAUMA (Death Rite)

Death rite is also a long process. When a person dies, she/he is given shower, put on new clothes, and he is put into a coffin (made of wood or bamboo) with flowers. Coins are kept on the forehead, chest, and abdomen of the dead. Bronze plate filled with one mana (traditional measuring unit) of rice and a coin is kept under the head of the dead. These things are kept as the travelling package for the dead to reach the other world. The procession of the dead is officiated by Phedangmas, relatives of the dead, and villagers. Gun is fired and Nagra (kind of drum) is beaten during the procession. When they reach the grave place, they had to buy land from Khambongba-Lungbongba (who are considered as the son of land) to bury the dead. Death rite is completed in mainly four stages.

 

  1. Samsama is done in the night after the dead is buried or burnt. This is a process of officiating dead to the other world.

  2. Yumchama/Yumsama (Makche) is mourning process in which family member do not take salt, oil, meat, ginger, and garlic for three and four days for female and male respectively. If the child is new born baby whose birth rite is not done then family should not prohibit eating above things.

  3. Khauma Phaje is done within a year of the death on the odd day or month. This is a process of purifying the family of dead and after this ritual family members could participate in fest, festivals, and other celebrations.

  4. Mikwa Sangma is the last ritual, in which complete segreation between dead and living is done. This ritual is related with Tongsing ritual. This is done for the peace, progress and prosperiority of the family.

Source: Kirat Yakthung Chumlung, Nepal

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