The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Various cases and disputes; descriptions of Yazuthu and Yezashimi and their inhabitants; mixed tribal area
medium: tours
keywords: peace negotiationswartransfrontier disputesritualhead-takingerythrina treesirongourdswomens' tattooleggingstribal comparisonY-postshouse-hornsvillage compositionkhelsoakcactusprickly pearmorungdrumcane headsvillage foundingtransfrontier boundary
person: Gwovishe/ of TsukohomiKohotoChekiye/ of LukamiZukishe/ of PhesamiSittobungHezekhuTootso/ of KitangreTsichimu/ of KitangreSatoiMeiklejohn/ MrYazuthu/ of YezashimiRengcha/ of PhorreKekhezhe/ of TsukohomiHovokhu
ethnicgroup: SangtamSemaAoKhasiKonyakLhotaYacham
location: Phesami (Phezhumi) Purr (Photsimi) Yazuthu Yezashimi (Yezashimi) Kishethu Tita R. Mungre (Shietz) Nitoi Sampurre (Thachumi) Lakomi Lukheimi (Lukami) Phesami Cheshorr Sittobung Hezekhu Kitangre Kosonasami (Kosanasami) Lhoshyepu Yatsimi (Yangpire) Murre Lumiche-woki stream Sirire (Sirere) Zungki R. Luthawoki R. Tita R. Kohima Mokokchung Khukishe (Kukishe) Sakhalu Shipungre Sampurre (Thachumi) Yezashimi (Yezashimi) Yacham Purr (Phorre) Tsukohomi Anahatore (Anahatori) Sanchore Kiyekhu (Kiyakhu) Yemeshe Nantaleik R. (Tizu R.) Keashe stream Tita R. (Tsutha R.) Nikiya Tsunga
date: 24.11.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 1.11.1923-30.11.1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 24th
text: Via Yazuthu to Yezashimi, about 11 miles. A stiff climb up to Yazuthu from the valley below Kishethu and two very steep descents, one from Kishethu and another again from Yazuthu. We camped by the Tita river just below Yezashimi which is about 500 feet above the river and 200 yards or less distant in a direct line from it, the path zig-zagging up the almost precipitous slope.
text: Before we started the Lakomi man offered me a mithan, but as the mithan had done no murder I refused it and demanded his son instead.
text: Nitoi and Shietz came in about their land dispute. They don't want to fight and asked me to send a dobashi to settle it. I said that I would send a dobashi, but that if they afterwards rejected his decision or failed to observe it, I should take no action, but mention to Gwovishe's sons that the road to Shietz was still open, if Shietz were the offender and to Thachumi that Nitoi had hurt my feelings if Nitoi transgressed. Both parties asked for Kohoto to fix the boundary.
text: Chekiye of Lukami came in, and Zukishe of Phesami again. Also the Cheshorr elders. They do not want war and Sittobung and Hezekhu patched up a peace on the status quo lines. The only man who wanted war in Cheshorr was the father of the boy killed. The rest agreed that it was his own fault. The survivor was apparently protected from the village who wished to kill him, by Zukishe's putting a corner of his red cloth over his head.
text: Tootso of Kitangre came in for a cloth, and I told him I would give him one if he came to Kohima for it, but that I still wanted Tsichimu of his village (at least I think that is his name) who escaped from custody in 1921 and has never been caught. He said he could not possibly bring him, as he had sworn to kill anyone who tried to, but I said that the matter had by no means escaped my memory and that sooner or later I should come his way again. I learnt from Murre that Satoi had been there twice since I ordered him not to cross the frontier again without leave - once 10 days ago and again 5 days ago, for which offences he shall duly suffer. The man is a curse wherever he goes.
text: Kosanasami and Lhoshyepu are preparing war. They have a pretty land dispute to fight about and may just as well let a little blood and settle their differences. It will not amount to more than a riot, probably and if I started taking up all the land disputes across the frontier I should want two Assistant Commissioners and 30 dobashis in addition to the present staff. I can easily interfere with the war when it becomes a nuisance.
text: There is a similar dispute between Yangpire (Yatsimi) and Murre, which three dobashis and Mr. Meiklejohn all tried to settle, though they ought to have known better than to interfere without my orders in a transfrontier case. As it is it puts me in the dilemma between repudiating their settlements and enforcing their orders. As the orders are thoroughly bad I think I shall choose the former. Anyway I cannot go and settle the business myself at present.
text: Yazuthu has five cloths, four Sangtam and one Sema. It is much too many. One Sema and two Sangtam is all they ought to have but I do not know who ought to get them and I rashly promised old pock-face that he should have a new one for help on various occasions. The village wishes to be run from Mokokchung, so probably the Sub-divisional Officer had better send a dobashi to enquire carefully who are the real men with a view to reduction ultimately.
text: I think the boundary between the Mokokchung and Kohima Transfrontier area should be the Lumiche-Tepe stream running south of Yazuthu and Sirere to the Zungki, and the Luthawoki running in the opposite direction to the Tita. It will leave little to Kohima, but Kohima is far off, and Mokokchung is in much closer touch with all these people, and I am inclined to think that the Mokokchung tradition is a healthier one in transfrontier matters, for these people come direct to the Sub- divisional Officer. In Kohima they usually have to go to someone else first before they can get at the Deputy Commissioner. Kukishe states that they would sooner go to Kohima, so the boundary can come down somewhere opposite Sakhalu.
text: Yazuthu had a drum much like that of Shipungre, and the remains of a morung with a carved front post.
text: I noticed that the women, some of them very fair-skinned, were tattooed with the familiar Sangtam mascle pattern, wore leggings when elderly, like the Aos, Khasis and the Sangtams in the north. The Yazuthu leggings were white with two narrow black stripes down the centre of each puttee. I also saw hearth stones dressed to a round cylindrical shape.
text: The Y posts here are carved as in the Sema villages with mithan heads and other devices and the Sema influence is also seen in the use of house-horns, which is not a genuine Sangtam fashion. The village is a mixed one being about two thirds Sangtam with a third Sema, the Semas living in a separate "khel". It was founded by Yazuthu, a Sangtam, from Yezashimi, which is now, at any rate, a partly Sema village, having a separate Sema "khel" with its own chief about half a mile from the main village, in which Sangtam customs and blood are entirely predominant. There are oaks growing freely round Yezashimi. The Sema "khel" was fenced with cactuses (euphorbia) and prickly pear. The morung in Yezashimi was on the usual Sangtam plan with bamboo horns from which hung cane globes representing heads, which were adorned like Konyak heads with horns made roughly of wood and looking really rather more like wings and suggesting perhaps Sir Joshua Reynold's cherubs. Inside was a drum of a pattern new to me. The head was a buffalo head and made as usual, but the slit was along one side. I think also that what there was of a tail was in line with the slit. There was no tail in line with the head. Alongside it was a wooden platform for the drummers. The morung posts (3 in all) were two of them carved, and from the gable edge projected the fantastic bamboo roots so beloved of Yacham, of some Konyak villages and of some Lhotas I think, though the Lhota ones I have seen have been much less fantastic.
text: Rengcha told me that Phorre (Photsimi) his Southern Sangtam village also used to make drums once, though not in his lifetime. Kekhezhe of Tsukohomi came in for a cloth. He represents the companion of Gwovishe in founding the village. The real chief is Hovokhu, Gwovishe's youngest son, I think, the elder brothers, at any rate having gone out in true Sema fashion to make villages of their own and leaving the younger to inherit. As Yezashimi, Yazuthu and Sirire and Anahatori and Sanchore all wish to fall to Mokokchung, and as Kosanasami and Kukishe both want to come under Kohima the following boundary will probably be the best for Transfrontier purposes:-
text: From the Kohima-Mokokchung boundary between Kiyakhu and Yemeshe where it meets the Tizu up the Kothoh Nullah north of Kukishe to the top of the ridge east of the Tizu thence down the eastern slope of that ridge by the Keashe stream to the Tsutha river: thence eastwards to the next range up the Luthawoki stream, and down the eastern slope of the same range again by the Lumiche- woki or at the Tepe to the Langnyu. This will put Kukishe, Shietz, Nikiya, Tsunga etc. into Sadr and leave the villages north of Phezhumi, Yazuthu and Sirire inclusive, in Mokokchung. The present system of mixed jurisdiction cannot work.