The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Problems involving the Brahman and some Lhota wizards at Wokha; absolution from oath
medium: tours
person: Nlamo/ of Wokha
location: Wokha
date: 25.6.1922
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 15.6.1922-7.7.1922
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 25th
text: To Wokha, where a heavy dak was awaiting me, and a number of cases. The question of some Lhota wizards combining with the Brahman of the temple here to detect theft by second sight came up. Apparently the Wokha puti had promised the man whose property had been stolen to find it for him, and then went and suggested to the Brahman that he should come to the village and "discover" by his magical power, that the property was hidden in the jungle near the village. The victim suspects (and so do I) that the thief is the puti himself - one Nlamo, a notorious bad character with previous convictions and sentences. Anyway he lied to me about having invited the Brahman to the village. This same Brahman, I learn, absolved a man in Yekhum from the affects of an oath he had taken. This is a most dangerous precedent, and if no misfortune befalls the man, it will be impossible to accept any oath, because a man will always be able to swear falsely and then go and get absolved of his oath by the Brahman.