|"It is the
custom of the Assamese that when ever they engage in a war they perform some sacrifices a
day previous to the battle in the following way: -They send some magic object floating
down the river towards the enemys side. If it floats to wards the enemys side,
they take it as a good omen. If it travels upstream out of its own accord, they take it as
foreboding something against them and consider it as a sign of their defeat and they do
not go out to battle.
In short (at the time of war
of Hajo), according to that custom, they built one raft of plantain tree which is a well
known fruit in India, and performed Pujas, i.e., worship of devils on it in the
following manner. They sacrificed a black man, a dog, a cat, a pig, an ass, a monkey, a he
goat and a pigeon, all black. Their heads were collected together and placed on the raft
along with many ripe bananas, pan betel-leaf), betel-nut, chuwa (acantho- phyllum
squarrosum), various kinds of scents, rice-paste coloured red, yellow and green,
cotton seeds, mustard seeds, mustard oil (raughan-i-talkh), ghee, (raughan-i-zard),
and sindur (vermillion), and then the raft was pushed adrift.
Though they tried to make it float down the stream it did net
go and every time it returned towards them. Their augury proved to be inauspicious, and it
was therefore inadvisable on their part to come to the battle."11
11. M. I. Borah: Five Lectures on the History of
Assam as Told by Moslem Historians; p. 49.