The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Visit to Anusandhan Samiti Museum; megalithic remains and associated legends
medium: tours
person: Jai Singh
location: Gauhati Kohima Zubza R. (Dzuna R.) Dzuna Valley Dimapur
date: 27.10.1925-28.10.1925
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 7.10.1925-29.10.1925
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 27th October
text: Arrived Gauhati 7.0 a.m. Visited the Museum of the Anusandhan Samiti. Outside it there is a remarkable square monolithic doorway of which the top and part of each side remain, the fourth side of the square having been broken away. The sides are 6'6" long x 2'1" deep x 11 " broad. It is said to have come from a temple in the locality. There is also a huge stone carved with a figure of an eight-handed, five-headed goddess which formed the central stone of a temple dome. For a stone to occupy such a position it is of enormous size. The circular carved centre is 6' across and the whole is 7'5" one way by 7'9" the other and from 1'2" to 2'6" thick. Except for the centre, the stone is most irregular (possibly broken by a fall from the temple dome). Among the other treasures is a shouldered hoe of the kind formerly used in poppy cultivation. It has a wedded hoop to take the handle and measures about 6" in length altogether; ribbed down the centre and greatly rust-eaten.
text: At Gauhati I was the guest of the Kamarupa Anusandhan Samiti.
text: The Anusandhan Samiti want some of the books and MSS. (if found there), thought to be in the Ethnographical Library. I fancy a good part of that library might be lent them by Government. They have, after all, the nucleus of a provincial Museum, though if something be not done to house it properly, it will not last long. There is a considerable library of puthis and some of them very valuable, and if nothing is done to preserve them properly, they will not last. It is one thing to keep them in a dry and smokey houses, quite another to have them in a building which can never be dry in the rains.
text: They told me here a legend about the Manipur stone at Kohima. A Manipuri student told them that when Jai Singh (Chingtung Komba) went to ask for help, against the Burmese, from the Ahon King, he stood on this stone and prayed, and the print of his feet remained in the stone as a sign that he would regain his Kingdom. It is a picturesque legend but excessively inaccurate. Chingtung Komba reigned in the second half of the 18th century, whereas the stone was set up in Kohima when the Naga village was sacked by the Manipuris in 1833, an event still remembered by two of the oldest inhabitants when I came to Kohima in 1912. They told me quite definitely and explicitly that the stone was put up then and a boy buried beneath it. It has been moved two or three times since and is just being moved again.
text: It seems to me likely that the story now attached to the Manipur stone in Kohima has been transferred from the stone called Khozatse on which Jotsoma divide up the fish caught in the Dzuna river, since this stone is actually on the old Manipur-Dimapur route down the Dzuna valley, which is now overgrown entirely and gone back to jungle. It has a single footprint on it.
text: 28th October
text: Left Gauhati 1.47 standard arriving at Dimapur at about midnight.