The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.H. Hutton's tour diary in the Naga Hills

caption: Yacham is burnt and its livestock killed; use of torture by Nagas
medium: tours
person: Ato khel/ YachamYakong khel/ YachamMoko khel/ Yacham
location: Yacham
date: 18.11.1921
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 3.11.1921-5.12.1921
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 18th
text: As YACHAM had refused to come in and panjied their village, I burnt part of it, and destroyed the defences. Most of the ATO khel, which I had not burnt, caught fire mysteriously, probably from a spark, and got burnt as well. It was unfortunate but almost inevitable.
text: As YACHAM had said quite clearly that they did not intend to obey any orders, but if we burnt them would only go and raid KAMAHU again, as they could rebuild as easily as we could burn, I thought it advisable to do something more than merely fire their houses, so we put the KAMAHU coolies to clear up the pig, and the CHANG coolies to catch the mithan. We caught 7 mithans and two calves, 3 of which belong to Aos of revenue-paying villages, and a considerable number of pig. The diet of unlimited pork made several of the coolies ill but the KAMAHU coolies revelled ecstatically in their work. One KAMAHU cooly ruptured a muscle in his brain from pure joy at the downfall of YACHAM and had to be carried home paralysed down all one side of him.
text: In a ditch between the ATO and YAKONG Khels was found the headless and limbless body of the unfortunate Gaonbura of MONGTIKONG, who was captured alive by YACHAM. He was a small man and as the CHANGS are big it is likely that the little hand and foot hung on a tree by the MOKO khel were his.
text: The camp was made almost uninhabitable by the pungent smoke from the village and the burnt sites of 300 houses made a melancholy spectacle, and I could almost credit the YACHAM elders with the thought which Tacitus ascribed to Caractacus, "Desertum faciunt, pacem appellant". It is to be hoped that our remote ancestors were less unpleasant than the men of YACHAM, but in any case one is only teaching to others the lesson we had to learn from Rome. There really isn't any other way of making a Naga village behave itself and at any rate it was satisfactory that no one had to be killed by us, - though there are 3 or 4 men of YACHAM who would not be missed at all by anyone.