The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton tour diaries in the Naga Hills

caption: Fishing using poison in the Melak river
medium: tours
person: SimkinsWilliamsonMcKircher
location: Amgurri (Amguri) Jhanzi R. (Melak R.) Molungyimsen (Molongimsen) Merangkong
date: 23.4.1917
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 22.4.1917-23.5.1917
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: April 23rd
text: To Amguri by rail. Here I had some conversation with Mr. McKircher on the subject of fishing in the Melak. He complains that the Nagas have spoilt the fishing of recent years by increased activity in "poisoning" the river. I am inclined to think that he is wrong. The other Amguri planters, including Mr. Williamson and Mr. Simkins, admit that the fish are there, but say that the intoxicant used by the Nagas to "poison" the fish makes them so stupid (sic) that they will not take a spoon. I know that the Melak was full of fish the year before last and Mr. Williamson agreed with me at the time that he had never seen the river fuller of fish but he could not catch them. However, the Molongimsen Nagas complained to me of Merangkong people coming down and fishing in their waters and it is possible that it is being a little overdone. I have already warned Merangkong that they cannot fish there and I have told Mr. McKircher that if he will let me know when the fishing starts in November, I will come down sometime in the cold weather and go into the question. [Note:I have addressed Hutton about the poisoning of fish in his district. The question is a difficult one and there has already been a lot of correspondence about it. - Sd. W.J.Reid, 11-6-17.]