The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Sudden unexpected illness of a dak-runner
medium: tours
person: HunitsoDelahing
location: Zulhami (Zulhama) Sathazumi (Satazuma)
date: 28.11.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 1.11.1923-30.11.1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 28th
text: Double marched through Zulhama to Satazuma. Shortly after arriving there Hunitso, who should have been nearly at Kohima with my dak but explained his delay as caused by having to chase chickens which escaped from his khang through many miles of jungle, came up to the bungalow to say that Delahing, who had left Kilomi with my dak early that morning, was lying moribund at the bottom of the very steep slope which runs down from the bridle path below the bungalow towards Zogazumi. We got him up and investigated on the spot. He had looked unwell the day before, and told the dobashis in the morning that he did not feel quite the thing but expected to make Chezubami all right. He had put down his dak, dao and cloth by the road side and obviously eaten his midday meal there and smoked a cigarette. Then apparently he had had a fit and rolled over the edge and down the slope. Unless he was in convulsions he could not have rolled far in the long grass, but I take it he had a fit as his face was horribly smashed, and the place where it had happened was obvious, he had fallen face first on a projecting lump of shale and shattered it. If he had been pushed he would either have fallen on the back of his head or else have put out his hands and saved himself from the full force of the fall at the cost of damaging his hands. He is a man of violent temper and uncontrolled tongue in his cups, but it is unlikely that he had much to drink and also unlikely that if the act had been done by someone else the dao, cloth etc. would not have been thrown over the edge too to delay discovery. Delahing himself was incapable of speech and apparently unconscious and was continually struggling with violent spasmodic movements of the legs - and, in a very much less degree of the arms and hands, reminding me of a tetanus patient. He was frothing at the mouth and breathing with difficulty. We made a litter and sent him off with two dobashis to take him to Kohima by relays of coolies from village to village as fast as possible.