The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Photographing stone carvings in charnel house; opium shop; head-taking and inter-village hostilities
medium: tours
person: Saopa/ of WakchingYongchang khel/ YungyaUman khel/ YungyaTamchi morung/ YungyaAhon
location: Wakching Kongan Borjan Chinglong Nian (Ngang) Sowa (Shua) Totok Yungya
date: 9.7.1926
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 5.7.1926-4.8.1926
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 9/7/1926 Halted. Wakching. I spent a highly malodorous two hours in the Wakching charnel house attempting under extremely adverse condition to photograph the carved stone phalli in which they keep the skulls and souls of their dead. The thickness of the jungle, the unevenness of the ground and the hordes of mosquitoes and sandflies and the exhalations of the neighbouring corpses in various stages of odoriferous decay made the business very trying. After that I visited the hospital.
text: I then inspected the opium shop. The accounts seem properly kept, the amount of opium in stock was correct and I checked several tickets of casual purchasers and found that the entries and sales were correctly entered and the ration not exceeded. Obviously the 1st day of the month would be the one to check purchasers' tickets: the sales on the first of the month are between 2 and 3 hundred tolas as against some 20 to 30 on a normal day.
text: There is much too much low jungle round the Inspection Bungalow, and hence an excessive plague of gnats, also I do not think much of the plan of substituting new posts for old not in their place but along side them. If continued this will lead in time to a verandah walled in with posts in various stages of dissolution. The abandoned telegraph poles might with advantage be used in building in place of wooden posts, both here and at Kongan.
text: Wakching did not deny that men in their village were in part responsible for the theft of the Borjan piping. I have told them they are prohibited from going to the plains till further orders, and I told Saopa he would not get his new gun till I had the thieves.
text: Chinglong came in. They have had three heads from Ngang to the South East of them. Shua came in to try and get me to settle their old war with Totok. Totok came in with a watching brief, not wanting any settlement. The Yongchang and Uman khels of Yungya came in to say they had a complaint against the Tamchi morung who had beaten one of their young man (not very seriously) I said that the matter was inside the village and that we could not interfere and they must settle it themselves, but I told Ahon to warn them against calling in any outside village to settle it by nocturnal massacre.