The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - extract from tour diary of C.R. Pawsey, 1925

caption: to Nokphan; La-wongs - village chiefs; Konyaks settling in the plains; slaves; hair plucked from cook's head; language
medium: tours
person: Nam-to/ of ChopnyuKam-wang/ of ChopsaTikom clan
location: Chopsa Nakphan (Nokphan) Joboka Banfera Mutan (Chopnyu) Changnyu Chi (Chui) Lunglam (Longlam) Saoching (Longching)
date: 27.10.1925
person: Pawsey/ C.R.
date: 10.1925-11.1925
refnum: Proceedings, Government of Assam, Appointment and Political Department, 1926. P/11515.
person: India Office Library, London
text: October 1925.
text: 27th
text: To Chopsa (Horu Mutan) via Nokphan. Nokphan (Noagaon) has about 50 houses and is subordinate to Chopnyu, from which village it was founded a very long time ago. The village has no real La-wong and a member of an illegitimate branch is officiating. He is no relation to the La-Wong of Chopnyu or Chopsa or Rusa all of whom are connected pretty closely. His family is not a popular one. The ruler of Joboka, who with all his family was assassinated about 20 years ago on account of his general cruelty, belonged to the same family.
text: Chopsa has now only about 15 houses although at one one time it must have had four time this number. The village came off very badly in the influenza epidemic and many of its former inhabitants are settled in the plains at or near Deopani. There are altogether about 35 houses of Konyaks in the plains. The cause for absconding generally seems to be due to oppression by the La-wong of Chopnyu, by name Nam-to. Kam-wang the La-wong of Chopsa is a nephew of Nam-to's. In his house I noticed that one of his slaves, the cook, had plucked out her hair, leaving the top of the head only cropped in a manner reminiscent of the way Aos cut their hair. The cook apparently has to belong to the Tikom clan, the women of which all shave their heads to prevent odd hairs falling into the soup.
text: [Margin note: The story is that a former chief got tired of his slaves' hair falling into the rice and he finding them at meals. The Palaungs of Burma, speaking like the Khasis a Mon-Khmer language, have the same story of the same custom.]
text: [It so happens that certain Konyaks east of the Yangmen river - JHH.] [sic]
text: In this area there is not nearly the same diversity of languages that is found in the Konyak administered area. Joboka, Banfera, Chopnyu and Changnyu all speak the same language with only very slight variations. They all point to the direction of Chui as their origin in a rather vague way. Longlam whose language is the same, was, however, made from Longching.