The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Old land dispute between Khezakenoma and Pununamei; child from Phoba claiming to be possessed by spirits who dictate 'writings' to her
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Memi
location: Tungjoi (Megwema) Khezha-Kenoma (Khezakenoma) Phosemei (Punanamei) Phuba (Phoba)
date: 15.5.1922
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 12.5.1922-20.5.1922
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 15th
text: To Megwema (Tungjoi), going by the direct route in order to hold an enquiry on the spot into the land dispute between Khezakenoma and Pununamei (Sopvo-Terhema) which has been running intermittently since at least 1908. It is a very troublesome case and I fancy an opportunity was missed of deciding it finally, when the first hearing took place at Mao instead of on the spot, as there is an admirable natural boundary which cannot now be adopted as it is barred by the oaths and orders in previous cases. Probably this dispute will go on forever. We did our best to induce the parties to accept the natural boundary, but the artificial obstacles were too formidable.
text: At Megwema we went into a curious case of the "child authoress" epidemic from Phoba, a Memi village in Manipur, where there is a girl who produces sheets of scribblings representing the names of natural objects at the dictation of 10 familiar spirits, six male and four female. There is no doubt but this child, aged about 7, is very much in earnest. She got her mother to obtain writing materials from Kohima at the dictation of the spirits that reside in her and when they arrived fasted seven days of her own accord as a preliminary genna before beginning to write.