The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Description of Totok Chingkhu; history of Chen; punishment by administration of unprovoked head-taking attack by Tang
medium: tours
person: Panglem/ of ChenGamble/ Capt
ethnicgroup: AngamiKonyak
location: Totok Totok (Totok Chingkhu) Shengha Chi Chen Chaonyu Tang
date: 4.12.1926
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 12.11.1926-11.12.1926
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 4/12/1926 Halted at Totok and visited Totok Chingkhu, the smallest and most easterly of the three villages, also called Longphong.
text: I noticed that the okulis here are almost identical with the Angami pattern. Some of the unmarried girls though fully grown were loafing about watching us with no trace of clothing or self- consciousness. The dead are set out on machans by the village path covered up in mats and the soul figures kept in little houses near the gate, have no horns. The morung "drums" have long necks and either python heads or else small buffalo heads.
text: While we were in Totok-Chingkhu, Shengha came in to make our acquaintance and pay their respects. They seem to be at war with all their neighbours, except Totok and Chi, and to be having rather a hot time of it, but to be holding their own more or less.
text: On our way back to camp we saw the aras of Chen being burnt. These aras are of vast extent, and need to be, for Chen is probably by far the largest village in the Naga Hills or the coasts thereof. It appears to cover about two miles of ridge and is said to have over 100 morungs. It is a village of recent foundation having come over the Patkai from the Burma side a generation ago. The founder of it only died three years ago. His name was Panglem. The inhabitants are Konyaks and include both the women that wear and the ones that shave off and pluck their hair. Two khels came first and were followed by four more. They have used up their own land and are now encroaching seriously on Chaonyu and will probably end by driving Chaonyu across the border into this district, but we have no room for them except on the outer range.
text: About 1.5 hours after getting back to camp, where we found Capt. Gamble, a messenger came hot foot from Totok-Chingkhu to say that just after we left the village one of the Shengha men was chopped at the edge of the village by men of Tang on the way back. This was an intolerable piece of impertinence, as the chopper must have known that the Shengha people had come in to see us and must have heard our pipers in the village, where we spent two hours, and waited for us to go. It was impossible to pass this over so I sent for Tang. The headman of the smaller and nearer village appeared the same evening and admitted the truth of the story. The head, an arm and a leg were taken by eighteen young men of his village. He himself, he said, was following to restrain them as he had just heard that we were in the neighbourhood. This was probably an invention, and in any case the eighteen raiders certainly knew of our presence and probably waited for Totok- Chingkhu in the knowledge that Shengha would come in to see us and so give them an opening. I lectured the Tang headman on this infernal impertinence of his village and ordered a fine of three mithan and two gongs to be brought in without delay and insisted that the head and meat must be brought back to me for disposal. Shengha will not receive it, as that is genna for them, but Tang could not be allowed to retain it, or they will have scored off Shengha and of us at the cost of a mere fine which it would be worth paying for the fun.