The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf notebook two

caption: history of disputes between and within Yungya and Kamahu
medium: notes
person: Chingchei/ of Yungya
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Yungya Kamahu
date: 1.8.1936
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 23.6.1936-6.1937
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: Chingchei, chief of Yungya alleged that recently the two khels Pangthong and Pongto (sic) of Kamahu invited his khel (Tangsa khel) to a friendly feast but on reaching near the village of Kamahu the khels of Rami (sic) and Wanchung of Kamahu tried to kill them and they had to turn and run to their village. Therefore he complained against Nyimlang and Chinguh (chiefs of Kamahu) either for an attempt to entrap (153) them to be killed by the khels of Rami (sic) and Wanchung or for dishonouring them in this way.
text: At the background of this story, is an event which took place some years ago:
text: Tangsa being themselves afraid to fight Kamahu hired two men called Mokteo and Kongnya to take the heads of Nyimlang and Nganchei chiefs of Kamahu promising them as rewards 3 dhulis dhan, land for cultivation and one girl for Mokteo, who was a bachelor. They also presented them with one dao and a spear each. Mokteo and Kongnya then (154) entered Kamahu's land, but failed to take the heads of the two chiefs. Instead they killed two of their mithans. Tangsa then gave them a dog, which they slaughtered and threw into the drinking pond of Kamahu with a view to poison it.
text: Tangsa is a colony of Yungya. Later Yungya agreed to help Tangsa raid Kamahu. Before starting on their joint expedition Mokteo and Kongnya were sent ahead to clear the path. Kamahu, knowing the plot, waylaid them and took both their heads. Chingchei chief of Tangsa khel of Yungya denied any collusion with Tangsa and said, as the two men killed were hired assassins, his khel wouldn't take any action. (155) Later on 4 men of Yungya, the relatives of the 2 men killed by Kamahu visited the field of Pamen of Kamahu. After a friendly talk in Pamen's fieldhouse and some refreshment offered to them, they shot Pamen and took his head to Yungya. Yungya was fined but Kamahu refused to accept the fine.
text: Recently Pangthong and Pangto (sic) khels of Kamahu wanted to make friends with Tangsa khel of Yungya. Yungya invited the two khels to their village but the two khels replied that it was their right to invite Yungya first. At this Yungya sent 10 layas and 4 daos to Kamahu as (156) a present. Nganchei, chief of Rami (sic) and Wanchung khel, however refused to accept these presents and had them returned. It is alleged that Nganchei objected to their visit to the village and demanded Rs. 100/- from Yungya for killing his man (Pamen) in the field. Yungya refused to pay anything as they had already paid 150 Rs to Govt. which Kamahu did not accept.
text: Nyimlang and Chinguh, chiefs of Pangthong and Pangto of Kamahu, however assured Yungya that Rami (sic) and Wanchung khels have no objection to Yungya (Tangsa khel) visiting Pangthong and Pangto khels. Yungya then visited Kamahu in their dancing dress etc., but while (157) they were some distance from the village but in sight of it, the young men of Rami (sic) and Wanchung khels took up their spears and shields and rushed up to guard their village against Yungya's coming. There was a great commotion between the two khels of Pangtong and Pangto on the one side and Rami (sic) and Wanchung on the other.
text: Nyinlang himself was slightly wounded and others also were injured in their attempt to stop the young men from fighting. Yungya seeing this returned to the village saying that they had been led into a trap.
text: Nyimlang and Chinguh say that they did not try to entrap Yungya (158) but have to admit that they did not inform Nganchei when they invited Yungya. They say that it was not the custom to inform the other khels when their friends are being invited.
text: Nganchei, chief of Wanchung khel says that as one of their men was killed by Yungya and no compensation was paid to them, the two chiefs ought not to have invited Yungya without their knowledge. Moreover he says, they had no intention to kill Yungya, otherwise they could have ambushed them. Their young men rose up only because they were surprised that their enemies were coming to the village.
text: (159) The rest of the trouble is apparently old quarrel between the khels of Kamahu, Rami (sic) and Wanchung must have meant to make trouble or they would not have stayed in the village. They probably [heard] of the coming visit and were ready for it.
text: The case was ultimately settled by paying out of the fine of 150/- paid by Yungya for killing Pamen, Rs 100/- to Nganchei as compensation for that murder, and Rs 50/- to Yungya for being put to shame by this bad reception. All parties agreed and promised peace (on 17th February 1936).