The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Kamahu - Hukpang dispute; the Naga manufacture and use of guns and gunpowder
medium: tours
person: WoodthorpeAhonMills/ MrKaolum/ of Urangkong
location: Yangnyu R. (Yangmun R.) Yangching Piyongkung Mt. (Piyongkong Mt.) Yungphong Pongu Mongnyu Hukpong (Hukpang) Urangkong Ukha Yungya Yang-Am (Yangam) Nian (Nyan) Kamahu Choha (Chaoha) Chi Saoching (Longching) Sibsagar Jakphang
date: 26.11.1926
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 12.11.1926-11.12.1926
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 26/11/1926 To the Yangmun river, about 8 miles, where we camped on our old site of 1923, which was Woodthorpe's in 1876, below Yangching. We found we could still keep touch with the signal station at Piyongkong, though we had hardly expected to be able to do so, but it was visible from the camp. A huge concourse of Nagas turned up here from all the villages round. Yangching, Yungphong,
text: I dealt with the dispute between Kamahu and Hukpang, and hoped to have frightened them both. Had not Mr Mills ordered Hukpang to come in and had not Hukpang declined, I should not have interferred at all, as Kamahu started it, and had only themselves to blame for anything that might follow, and Hukpang wanted war.
text: Kaolum bought me from Urangkong a gun he had brought from Longching (Saoching) for Rs. 20/-. It was Naga made entirely except for the barrel, which was a piece of iron piping of about 20 bore size. Probably it was made in Saoching. He also showed me some gun-powder, bought from the same village. This is obviously of European manufacture and is spoken of as "Sarkari barut" and as coming from the plains. It sells at -/4/- a "fire", ie. (as the "fires" are small) about Rs. 30/- per lb. as a maximum price. The use of guns in warfare has very greatly increased during the last two or three years in this part of the unadministered area, and this must, I think, be put down to the increase of gun licences in the plains, as the sale of powder is obviously going to be so lucrative that a gun is a very profitable investment. It is time that Saoching are said to manufacture gun powder of their own, but this is said to be of little strength and very slow in ignition, and the powder showed me by Kaolum was probably Curtis and Harvey's, and he said the Saoching made stuff was not worth buying. It is a very great pity that the new firearms policy was ever extended to Assam. Any scallywag can get a gun these days in a plains district, and most scallywags in Sibsagar probably do.
text: Jakphang, whose attitude towards us was reported very doubtful did not come to the camp. They sent three men, however not the gaonburas, who sat on the far bank of the river and refused to cross. We went over to see them and told them that we could only deal with the chiefs, who had better come down and see us the next day.