The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Transfrontier cases; peace between Mongnyu and Yungya; Shopen and Hamshen of Tangsa forbidden to live there; new Inspection Bungalow at Tamlu; description of the new morung at Tamlu; animals, previously humans, sacrificed and buried under morung posts
medium: tours
keywords: floraslaveryfinesritualspiritsheadspensionhoneycombspaint colourings
person: Wong/ of TamluShopen/ of TangsaHamshen/ of Tangsa
ethnicgroup: AoKonyakKalyo-Kengyu
location: Tamlu Mokokchung Diyung R. (Dayang R.) Koio Lungkam (Namkam) Shitzi Ungma Mongnyu Yungya Tangsa Panso
date: 16.6.1925
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 29.5.1925-29.6.1925
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 16th
text: To Tamlu. On the way I noticed ageratum by the roadside. Before I went on leave it had not reached Mokokchung, and about 1922 it had only just got to the Dayang Valley below Koio. The smaller variety - Eupatoria pallescens - came in about 15 to 20 years ago by a man's having carelessly fired the jungle when burning his aras. A huge area of heavy jungle got burnt in 1909 or 1910 from Namkam to Shitzi and Ungma. All this became a mass of Eupatoria which unknown before is called by the Aos "the weed of Senangchiba" thus being immortalized rather like the unpleasant fellow who burnt the temple of Diana at Ephesus.
text: At Tamlu I paid Wong his pension. It is a nuisance not having a compact thumb impression business for use in camp. Ordinary ink is too messy.
text: I also dealt with one or two trans-frontier cases. Mongnyu turned up and presented a slip of paper given them by a man of Yungya purporting to be a summons from me. As a matter of fact I did want to see Mongnyu but had sent no summons, and the slip was an outdoor patient's dispensary ticket. The Yungya man who gave it to Mongnyu is reported a notorious rogue. He did not come in, but some other Yungya head men did and said they were troubled because Mongnyu refused to accept from them a mithan in lieu of the slave Mongnyu, who had lost a head to Yungya a generation ago, demanded as the price of peace. Mongnyu said that they could not accept a mithan in exchange for a man and would prefer to take nothing at all. They agreed to let bygones be bygones and to remain at peace with Yungya, so that was settled and I warned both that whoever was responsible for the first breach of the peace would have to reckon with us as an enemy as well. Neither side can, of course, be trusted, but Mongnyu is a small village and is unlikely to wish to provoke Yungya.
text: Shopen and Hamshen of Tangsa were told by me that when let out of jail I could not have them living at Tangsa. They do not really belong there at all and are bad characters for ever stirring up trouble, and the village is, or was anxious to get rid of them. Hamshen was not there, but I told his father Shopen that they had better clear out before I came to Tangsa in the cold weather. They have already been demanding two mithan from the rest of the village because they were sent to gaol.
text: When we get a new Inspection Bungalow at Tamlu (and it may not be long) I fancy the S.D.O. would do well to put it either in the old fort, or and possibly better down the spur which runs from the fort towards the plains where the raingauge was or still further down at the end of the spur. At any rate he might inspect the site. For the new road to Kongan the take off is obvious. The present Naga path leaves the Tamlu-Geleki bridle path at the top of the saddle between Anaki and Chota Namsang and passes through the latter village, and down the spur, but about half way up to the saddle, from the valley below Tamlu. There is a ridge running level along the side of the Chota Namsang hill and the saddle between that village and Namsang proper, whence it can drop down to the river on the Namsang side - below Namsang not Chota Namsang, I think.
text: I went to see the new Morung in Tamlu. The carving much as usual in Konyak Morungs but plentiful and good of its kind, elephant particularly in evidence, possibly because the skull of an elephant which I shot once is kept there. I find that the second big post, not the front one, is the important one. Under it a dog is buried. The dog is "cut" and thrown into the hole dug for post which is then stepped in on the top. Some of the transfrontier Kalyo-Kengyu are reputed still to use a slave for this purpose, eg. in Panso, the man being bound in a sitting posture and put in the hole and the post reared on the top. The reason given me for the sacrifice of the dog in Tamlu was that the spirit living in the Morung demanded a sacrifice to eat and that failing satisfaction the young men would suffer from much illness and death. Some such spirits he said preferred pigs, others goats. At the same time I think one may surmise that the human sacrifice which doubtless preceded the dog (it has been suspected of having been twice performed at a certain Ao village within the last twelve years or so) was performed with the intention of providing a soul to dwell in the post and prolong its life and help it to disseminate vitality to the Morung. In the Pacific men used to volunteer, I think, for the task of holding up the chief's houseposts, and the earth was shovelled in on them as they held the foot of the post in position.
text: I noticed the usual honey-combs hung up in the morung here, and they told me quite definitely that it was to frighten away spirits that might otherwise stray into the morung and do harm. The spirits are afraid of being stung by the insects they suppose to occupy the comb, and clear off.
text: The carvings were painted with red, or rather pink, white and black, the first colours are got from coloured earths which are just smeared on. The black is charcoal. Heads were hung on a head tree (where the site of the fort now is) till the meat had rotted off and were then brought and hung in the Morung.