The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Abduction of girls as concubines from Nokphan by Ang of Chopnyu; Rusa's shortage of land for cultivation
medium: tours
person: Pawsey/ Mr
ethnicgroup: Chop
location: Rusa Nakphan (Nokphan) Chopsa Mutan (Chopnyu) Thanglam range Tinsukia
date: 22.2.1928
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 11.1.1928-3.3.1928
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 22 February
text: Halted Rusa and dealt with the "hand-maiden" case, Nokphan having come in late on the 21st and also Chopsa. Nokphan stated that their grievance arose from the claims made by the Ang of Chopnyu to take girls out of their turn. The Ang ("Vangam" is the form the title takes here) denied that he was bound by any question of turn. He also had a good deal to say about our interfering. He supposed that God had given everyone their share in the sun and he wished to know by what right we brought sepoys here and trespassed on his share instead of keeping to our own. As for the share of the "hand-maidens", they apparently could not claim to any, but I gave him the only answer he was likely to understand and that was that might was right, and told him to produce coolies to carry our loads next day, which he did. The orders I passed were that no bonafide inhabitants were to be taken away from Nokphan against their will. I did not attempt to define bonafide inhabitant as that would be likely to give rise to dispute at once, the Rusa Ang having already made a preposterous claim to have a girl for a concubine for his son "when the time came" from Nokphan on the grounds of an arrangement alleged by him to have been made before the family migrated from Rusa nine years ago. He admitted that he had no reason to suppose that the girl would be refused, but I did not say that he could have her. The claim is absurd. The truth is that the servile clans of the Chop villages have almost entirely migrated to the plains. Nokphan say on account of the tyranny of the Angs of Chopnyu.
text: (
text: Mr. Pawsey pointed out from Rusa the fields on the Thanglam range which were specially reserved for Rusa in 1916, by an order of the Commissioner of the Assam Valley, confirmed by Government, when the boundary was altered here. Rusa are short of land, and can only grow rice by jhuming as they have no flat land for irrigation, and the Thanglam ridge, though included in Sibsagar district by the new notification was reserved for them. Last year, however, the Subdivisional Officer proposed to issue grants to tea companies which would have brought tea gardens right to the foot of Rusa village hill. Luckily he was relieved by Mr. Pawsey who knew the orders and revised the proposed boundaries. As these grants will presumably be demarcated, there should now be no difficulty in re-gazetting Sibsagar district boundary so as to cut out the Thanglam ridge entirely, and this is what ought to be done, or the orders given will get lost sight of again.
text: The matter of a gun stolen from a villager in Tinsukia thana and purchased by a man of Rusa was also dealt with and two men sent down to Tinsukia to identify the vendor.