The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: phallic carving; beliefs about toads; questions of cultivation and of revenue; land slips
medium: tours
person: VisarVetsch/ of RunguzumiVelhupsu/ of RunguzumiZepulhu
location: Cheswezumi Thenizumi (Theniazumi) Khonoma Chakhabama (Sakhabama) Runguzumi
date: 3.9.1925
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 2.9.1925-15.9.1925
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 3rd September
text: To Cheswezumi. On the way up a wooden carving of what Chaucer calls a yerde was fixed up in the middle of the path. The people with me swore it had no meaning but was merely an indecent jest to make the girls laugh. It was Theniazumi who had done it, however, and there were none of them with me. Later I happened to learn that Khonoma sometimes keep live toads in their paddy dulis, and Visar asserts that they can and do continue to live in the dhan. It is believed to be good for the dhan and the practice is probably to be connected with the legend associating the toad with the discovery of the rice plant, and also, no doubt, with the frequent association of the toad and the god of thunder and rain, as, for instance, in the Celebes, I think.
text: Some Theniazumi people - G.B. and his father - whose fields have collapsed in a landslide came in to ask for leave to cultivate on Government land, but I refused them. It is no good letting anyone in unless, all the panikhets on Sakhabama land are settled with cultivators, and I think that that would seriously interfere with the grazing, as Sakhabama is kept as a grazing reserve.
text: Vetsch and Velhupsu of Runguzumi came in to say that their panikhets had slipped and that Zepulhu had seen them and would report on their request for exemption from revenue, but had told them to mention it to me.