The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: contracts for thatch and wood; payment of dues to Cheswezuma for protection against Semas; Zogazuma's refusal to pay Cheswezuma upheld
medium: tours
person: NianoVahiru/ of SatazumaKekwelhu/ of Satazuma
location: Sathazumi (Satazuma) Zulhami (Zulhama) Terocheswemi (Therecheswema) Cheswezumi (Cheswezuma) Sagazumi (Zogazuma)
date: 23.6.1920
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 1.6.1920-26.6.1920
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 23rd
text: To Satazuma.
text: On the way the muharrir pointed out to me the places where Niano had paid for the cutting for the stony earth at the rates of rock cutting. He must have been drunker than usual that morning. I also discovered that he had granted contracts for kacha building to Zulhama and made Terecheswema supply thatch at the preposterous rate of 5 annas for a bundle 3 yards in circumference. The Government rate being 4 annas for one 5 feet in circumference. The thatch was paid for by Zulhama who must have made a very handsome profit on that item in their contract, Zulhama were short of thatch but they prevent Therecheswema, who have thatch, from taking contracts by saying that they must bring their own posts and can have more from Zulhama land. I have ordered in future that all contracts will be divided between the two villages and if they cannot agree about thatch and wood they will be indented for and the building put up departmentally. Meanwhile I want an explanation from Niano which is to include a demonstration of the methods on which he calculates contracts of this sort.
text: Vahiru is appointed G.B. of Satazuma vice Kekwelhu deceased. At Satazuma there was a case between Cheswezuma and Zogazuma, apparently it has been the custom even since the annexation of this part of the hills for Cheswezuma to take a certain quantity of rice, very little _ about 2 handfuls, from each house in a large number of villages, which formerly used to pay them a substantial amount in rice and other kinds of produce by way of paying for their protection against the Semas. Payment is not exacted yearly but from time to time, arrears being realized more or less. Zogazuma having evaded payment for 5 years, during which Cheswezuma did not cease to claim and press for payment, came forward with a complaint against Cheswezuma for demanding it.
text: The rice when raised is not taken by the village of Cheswezuma as a whole, but is given to the First Sower and First Reaper, and has thus acquired a sort of religious ceremonial significance. As during the past five years Cheswezuma on one occasion accepted Rs 2/- in lieu of the contribution from Zogazuma I commuted Zogazuma's contribution to money at that rate - Rs 2/- per annum. The amount was very small, not to be regarded as revenue paid to Cheswezuma. Cheswezuma objected to this precedent, but if other villages try to follow suit each case could be dealt with on its merits. Later Zogazuma came back and took oath that they had not paid any contribution to Cheswezuma for 18 years (estimated as six red cloths) on which, of course, I cancelled the orders for payment entirely, and as previously agreed on fined Cheswezuma for making a false claim, the fine (Rs 20/-) being paid to Zogazuma. As a matter of fact the oath was palpably false, and probably payments will be started again when the next epidemic attacks Zogazuma, in the hope of evading the effects of the oath. At one stage in the proceedings Zogazuma had admitted that their story was not true. Cheswezuma paid the fine with pleasure, much preferring this solution to the other.