The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Descriptions of Mohung and Chongvi and their inhabitants; methods of paying coolies
medium: tours
person: Woodthorpe
ethnicgroup: ChagyikKonyak
location: Aopao (Chongvi) Mohung Sowa (Shuwa) Totok Yonghong Jakphang Chinglong (Chingchang) Saoching Chi Choha (Chaoha) Longmien
date: 1.12.1926
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 12.11.1926-11.12.1926
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 1/12/1926 To Chongvi, via Mohung, about 10 miles. There is an alternative route through Shuwa which was taken by Woodthorpe in 1876, but there is more up and down that way than by the Mohung route, though it is said to be a little shorter. Mohung, however, had never been visited by anyone before, so I chose that way. This village also is one of Totok's "flower gardens", to use the local expression, and Totok plucked a couple of heads from it only two or three months ago. Totok, in spite of their very severe decimation in the 1912 show, are now a flourishing village, and very enterprising indeed.
text: I noticed in Mohung the panji rat-traps seen at Yonghong in 1923 and at Jakphang, Chingchang and Saoching. The posts supporting the dhan houses have bamboo spathes tied round them instead of, or as well as, the round loads at the top. The foot of the post is panjied, when the rat loses his foot hold on the slippery bamboo spathe he falls down and is impaled.
text: The village sentry's machan - a look-out box built at a great height in a tree and approached by a long bamboo bridge - very rickety carried on tree tops from the morung - contained an alarm drum which was a miniature of the tusked "drum" used in the morungs. The morungs had carved dancing boards, and buffaloes carved on their posts. Outside the village were piles of large stones ready to be thrown or rolled down on an enemy.
text: Chongvi or Aopao is the most northerly of the Chagyik villages just here. The language is that of Saoching or Yonghong and the women shave and pluck their heads, but the men have been more influenced by the fashion of the Totok - Chi group of Konyaks and wear tight cane belts and long lengtas. I measured one waist of 19 inches only on a full grown man. The soul figures are horned for skulls in "Chagyik" style.
text: The morungs are ornamented with cross pieces carved into life size or larger representations of flying hornbills, conventionalized just enough to make each wing (except at the two ends) serve for two birds one on each side. One had a large group of phallic stones erected outside it.
text: Tattooes are rather elaborate, the headman's wife having very decorative legs.
text: As in the other Chagyik villages, there is no very definate chief - the Ang and his very clearly defined headship belonging apparently to the more northerly Konyaks and not having penetrated south of Chaoha and Longmien.
text: As Saoching, who carried our loads, and Mohung which is an offshoot of it, are at war with Chongvi the path was not entirely cleared. Saoching and Mohung had cleared as far as they dared do without laying themselves open to attack by Chongvi, and Chongvi had cleared as far as they thought they could without tempting Mohung too severely. In between was a wide belt of ikra and grass jungle through which we had to push our way as best we could. The cleared parts were thickly mined with pitfalls from which the panjis and the screens had been removed for our benefit.
text: We paid off our coolies in red wool using up the remainder of our supply. For five days we paid in wool which is fairly acceptable and very light to carry. Salt is probably the most popular form of payment across the frontier, and a lb. and a half is accepted with alacrity as the price of a day's labour. This is cheap in cash, but very costly in coolies as about 3 loads of salt are needed for every day's march. The Saoching coolies, having got their red wool and being under our protection proceeded to execute a war dance - quite a good one, on Chongvi land in order to annoy the village and redden their eyes. I had a stop put to it and sent the coolies off home, whither they set out vociferously with challenges and shaking of daos. I fancy there were too many of them and we were too close for Chongvi to waylay them on their road home.