The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: An unsatisfactory interview with a forester regarding Naga coolie labour
medium: tours
location: Harupani (Horupani)
date: 15.12.1922
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 1.12.1922-23.12.1922
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 15th
text: To Horupani. On the way I was greeted from the bank by a Forester sent by the Deputy Conservator of Forests, Sibsagar to see about some lines to be cut in the reserve for which he wants me to arrange Naga contractors. This forester was a wild fellow probably a Bengali. His salute was super-military, but he wore one of the "Forester" badges in his tunic collar upside down. His dispositions were of a kind which led him to answer any question but the one put to him. Our conversation was on this wise. (LINE MISSING HERE)
text: the Nagas if they take contracts?
text: Forester. The Nagas will cut the lines.
text: M. But what rates will you pay?
text: F. You will supply Naga labour; I shall supervise.
text: M. That's as may be; what I am asking you is how much you will pay the Nagas? What are your rates per mile?
text: F. I have been ordered by Deputy Conservator of Forests. Some of the lines are one mile, others are three miles. All are different", and so on.
text: The only way to deal with this sort of fool is to answer him according to his folly -
text: F. When can I get the Naga coolies?
text: M. Yes, I am leaving Jamuguri the day after to-morrow.
text: F. I have a map and everything is cut and dried.
text: M. If your lines are cut and dried, why in glory do you ask me for Nagas to cut them?
text: But one does not get anywhere and I am afraid I used bad language to him before I left him. I doubt he will make a mess of his business somehow.
text: At Horupani the Chaukidar had gone home to his village and taken the key and I had to force the padlocks with a spear, judging by the book I was the first person to use this bungalow since its construction in 1912.