The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: to Kilomi; propagation of alder by seed and by cuttings compared
medium: tours
person: Meiklejohn/ MrBor/ MrHatoi
ethnicgroup: AngamiSema
location: Kilomi Yonghong Khonoma
date: 17.2.1926
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 22.1.1926-22.2.1926
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 17/2/1926 To Kilomi. A lot of alders were sown here last year along the bridle path not as seedlings only but as cuttings. (Note: It is not stated that they were seedlings, but they told me there that they were cuttings. Anyhow the Angami plant cuttings.) Some of these cuttings were as much as 3 inches in diameter at the bottom, and I should estimate for the numbers of live and dead ones passed that at least 50% survive. Assuming that the survival are 30% only it is much more worth while to put in large numbers of such cuttings in abandoned jhums than to put seedlings only. The cutting gives the advantage of two or three years growth straight away, for though 3" is too big, the 2" diameter cuttings of 7 ft. or so in length, survive and put out leaves all the way up, though not enough perhaps to prove too attractive to browsing mithan at first. It is true that all the attempts to reproduce the alder from cuttings which were made by Mr Meiklejohn, and I think by Mr Bor, were failures, but they tried to do it too late. It was, I think, April when I saw the Yonghong fields full of fresh cuttings they had put in, but this can be verified. The Angamis told me May, and Hatoi says April, May and even June but July is definately too late. Probably it does not give enough time for root formation before the cold weather comes on. Anyhow it is quite obvious that Nagas can and do propogate the alder by cuttings, and I am quite sure that to rescue the Sema country from denudation one must concentrate on alder. Cuttings in April and May, seedlings later, and strict measures to make the village pollard instead of destroy all alders when jhuming. For about every half dozen or so pollarded it is desirable to leave one with a straight clipped pole and just a tuft of leaves at the top. This tuft bears abundant seed and helps to sow the neighbouring ground with seedlings, particularly where coix is cultivated as they grow up admirably among the coix stalks. This method is practised at Khonoma and admirably there. Schima and betula where found should also be pollarded instead of rooted out, but the alder is the really important one, and stands jhum burning admirably.