The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Manufacture of home-made guns; sale of caps for guns; murder case at Yanha; use of opium and ganja
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Kuki
location: Joboka (Yanha) Horu Kamlung (Wangkham) Sangnyu Lahua
date: 16.2.1928-17.2.1928
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 11.1.1928-3.3.1928
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 16 February
text: To Yanha (i.e. Joboka) - about 10 miles, a steep climb. Water scarce and bad in camp.
text: 17 February
text: Halted Yanha. Here I got a good deal of information. The ingot tin stolen last year was taken by Wangkham, a village further in behind Sangnyu. This village is also said to have stolen and distributed quantities of garden water piping used for making guns. Powder, they tell me, is only obtained in small quantities from the plains now and most villages have learnt to make their own. When they cannot get lead (or ingot tin) for bullets, they use round pebbles and say that they are deadly at short range, but do not carry true for any distance. They do, however, depend entirely on the plains for caps, and the caps used are almost exclusively the round pink amorces sold in bazaars for toy pistols and used by Kukis also for making most effective caps in 1917-19. If the sale of these caps by unlicensed dealers could be put a stop to and there is no reason, I suppose, why it should not, the use of guns in warfare among independent Nagas would be greatly reduced, and if it is not reduced, they will tend to exterminate each other in time as the Maoris did when they got hold of guns from Europeans.
text: The Yanha people admitted having killed a man of Lahua on his way back from the plains. I said we could not have that. If they kill people from inside on their way down, we can hardly interfere, but it will never do to let them kill people coming up from the plains with impunity. They have never been told this and had an old grievance against Lahua, so I merely warned them and took Rs. 50/- off them to impress on their memory that they must not kill people coming up from the plains, even if they know they belong to independent villages. Also to remind them, really, that we could eat fines off them if we felt inclined.
text: They do not appear to grow opium and generally speaking are not opium-eaters. I asked them where they got opium and they said that it was very hard to get now. The shops, they said, will not sell to them and they got very small quantities from registered consumers in exchange for commodities. Ganja, they grow in small quantities in their gardens, presumably for sale in the plains, but they appear not to do nearly so much trade in ganja as the administered villages further south have been doing. I warned them that it had better stop altogether as far as they were concerned, and that it was inadvisable to let people from the inner ranges pass through with ganja, as they would get the blame and probably the punishment if it went on.
text: S.D.O. Mokokchung took a fine off Yanyu for calling in one of his villages to help them in a raid.
text: (