The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Land dispute between Satami and its colony, Vedami; unworkable order making Tizu river a boundary; private ownership of jhum land; Sema inheritance rules; common land
medium: tours
person: Scott/ Mr
location: Aichisagami (Aichi-Sagami) Vedami Satami Nantaleik R. (Tizu R.) Yezami Aichisagami (Sagami) Yehimi Naruto-woki stream
date: 23.6.1917-24.6.1917
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 13.6.1917-13.7.1917
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 23rd
text: To Aichi-Sagami.
text: 24th
text: Halted Aichi-Sagami and went across the Tizu to Satami. This has always been a troublesome village and there was a land dispute on involving our village of Vedami. This village was a colony thrown out from Satami 18 months or two years ago and I had provisionally fixed the Tizu as the boundary between the old village and Vedami. Satami refused to accept this and on going into their case after seeing the land, which could only be done from the Satami side, I found that the order was unfair to Satami and deprived it of too much land. I therefore have now fixed the boundary at the Tizu as far as the mouth of the Naruto-woki stream and up that stream till the lands of Yezami and Sagami are reached. As a result of this order Vedami say that they will go back to their old village, which they are welcome to do.
text: Mr. Scott did at one time pass an order making the Tizu the boundary, all down its length between the land of our villages on the west and independant villages on the east but no one has even taken any notice of it and it is in fact quite unworkable. It would have deprived Yehimi of three quarters of its land. There is an old heresy in the Naga Hills that rights in jhum land do not matter much (if they exist at all), but almost all jhum land has long ago passed into private ownership and has formed the subject of sales, inheritance and marriage settlements so that the private ownership in jhum differs in no way from that in terraced land except in having less value to the same amount of area. A given plot is permanently cultivated by the same person at regular and often decreasing intervals. Many family lands exist which are nominally held in common by the family, as it is genna for Semas to divide the land of a man between his descendants until the third generation, but even in these cases the lands are often divided for practical purposes and only common in name. In addition to this there is here and there a little land which is held in common by a village or khel but it is very rare, and is usually land that has been acquired by the village (by false swearing or otherwise) in a case and cannot be divided because it does not really belong to anyone.