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 including a complex land dispute; dealing with a recalcitrant chief
medium: tours
keywords: illnessred clothsvillage fission
person: Kohoto/ of GhukwiHotoiZhuikhuPawsey/ Mr
ethnicgroup: Sema
location: Murre Yatsimi (Yangpire) Lhoshyepu Kosonasami (Kosanasami) Khukishe (Kukishe) Ghokhwi (Ghukwi) Nantaleik R. (Tizu R.) Sakhalu Kiyekhu (Kiyakhu) Zhekiya Satakha Ghokhwi (Ghukhui) Zhekiya Shevekhe Kuthu R. Chethu stream Yemeshe Baimho
date: 26.11.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 1.11.1923-30.11.1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 26th
text: The night of the 25th was made hideous by hordes of litigants, and by quarrelsome transfrontier Semas declaring war or wanting to. Murre and Yangpire ("Yatsimi") have a land dispute, and wish to fight, or pretend they do. I said they might fight until it inconvenienced me and that I should interfere when I pleased and that meanwhile no other village was to join in. If they have the field to themselves little damage will be done. I applied the same principles to a land dispute between Lhoshyepu and Kosanasami, allowing the parent village of Kukishe to join the latter (as I cannot conceivably prevent it) and an offshoot of Lhoshyepu's to join it to make two a side, I doubt its coming to much, but if it does I shall probably have to stop it pretty soon as it would be too near the boundary not to be a nuisance. Meanwhile, however, I do not propose to settle their land disputes for them. The ones inside are bad enough without.
text: Kohoto from Ghukwi reported that the village was suffering severely from sores and fever. He had asked for idoform for the former, but could not get it. Hotoi came in to report that Zhuikhu, the chief of a two anna Sema village up the Tizu, had refused to supply the Signallers keeping up communication with us with coolies or rice. I know Zhuikhu well. He is a bully and a coward and a first class swine. I have always had trouble with him since I first went to Mokokchung, and he has always saved his bacon by climbing down and grovelling at the last minute. As he was given a red cloth only last year this last impertinence was too much for me. I told Mr. Pawsey to send him an order to meet him at Baimho, and if he disobeyed to camp below Sagami on our bank and to take 15 rifles and go up and fetch him, or, if he could not get him, to burn his house. I am sick of Zhuikhu, and the fact that there were sepoys on the spot and the chance of dealing with him without wasting an anna on him was too good to lose, but I feel pretty sure he will come down to Baimho, where Mr. Pawsey will doubtless deal with him suitably. (Margin note: He did not. Mr. Pawsey went and fetched him.)
text: Then Mr. Pawsey with the escort left me for Sakhalu, on his way back to Mokokchung. I went up to Kiyakhu and dealt with the Kiyakhu-Ghukhui land case and then over the hill by Zhekiya down to Satakha, about 10 miles. The land case is recorded in Political Case No. 24 of 1923, but though it probably washes out the matter as far as Kiyakhu and Ghukhui are concerned (their dispute dates from at least 1897), a pretty quarrel is brewing between Zhekiya and Kiyakhu, which I refused to go into as one such case is enough for one day and I should have had to go out of my way at least to Shevekhe to see all the land concerned. Zhekiya split off from Kiyakhu some time in the 'nineties'. The Kiyakhu chief gave Zhekiya all the land on the Zhekiya side of the Yaputhoyi saddle (there is an erect stone at the spot), the boundary going down the Kuthu-aghulo nulla to the Kuthu river on the south, and somewhere along the Chethu stream (which I did not see) to the north to the existing boundary between Zhekiya on one side and Shevekhe and Yemeshe on the other. Probably a future settlement must be more or less on these lines, but as Zhekiya refused to give the customary leg of a Sambhar he had killed to the Kiyakhu chief, the latter revoked his settlement, and since then the two villages have jhumed theoretically in common, though most of the land seems now to be privately owned. Personally I see no particular need for a partition, but Zhekiya is loud in its claims, and it must be admitted that if it is not done in this generation it will become appallingly complicated by the next, when there will be so many more claimants.