The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Settlement of the Semoma khel graves dispute and the construction of the wall at Khonoma
medium: tours
person: Semoma khel/ KhonomaNihuSrisalhuLhusihuVisarrRhizoliePawseyLengjang
location: Khonoma
date: 30.1.1921
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 3.1.1921-31.1.1921
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 30th
text: Directly after breakfast I went up to the site of the graves and mapped out a quadrilateral that would include all the graves with posts and strings, put in sticks to mark the height (about 5 feet) up to which the wall was to be built - a little below the tops of the two highest graves and above the other three - and told the Khel to get on with it as I was not prepared to give them anything beyond that. They promptly did get on with it and I have never seen anyone work harder - men, women and children all helped. The wall was built by lunch time and filled in by 5.0 or before, after an hour's rest, leaving only a few finishing touches to be done. The Semoma people tried all sorts of wheezes to get a clear wall of about 30 feet by wanting to dig earth from just under the edge of the new wall to fill in with but were most extraordinarily meek about doing what they were told and not doing what they were told not to. I really think they were extremely relieved to get their graves walled in at last. Anyway they said so. Thevoma came and looked on and were quite pleasant but Merema sulked all day. One of the rams used for ramming in the earth consisted of a pole shod with the cylindrical base of an old iron shell that had been fired into Khonoma in 1880 or 1852.
text: Nihu, Srisalhu, Lhusihu, Visarr, Rhizolie, and Lengjang dobashis were present off and on throughout the proceedings as well as Mr. Pawsey and myself.