The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Lapvomi - Melomi, problems of land ownership, rent and cultivation; jungle burning
medium: tours
location: Lapvomi Nantaleik R. (Tizu R.) Ther R. (Thetsar R.) Meluri (Melomi) Phuntret
date: 25.4.1928
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 17.4.1928-9.5.1928
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 25 April
text: Through Lapvomi to the Tizu river at the confluence of the Thetsar, about 12 miles but we lost our way and make it nearer 16. A long delay at Lapvomi for a land dispute between that village and Melomi about the Tsoko tila. These villages have few recognized boundaries, and an inconvenient custom of cultivating land admittedly belonging to some one else and then claiming to have it on a nominal rent. It is very inconvenient as the tenants-in-trespass are apt later to claim that they bought the land. It was therefore arranged that any persons cultivating land, which did not belong to them, without the owner's leave would have to pay Rs.5/- for rent instead of the R.1/- or less paid at present, provided, that is, that the case is not brought to court, as I declined to commit Deputy Commissioner's court to any fixed penality in this respect. Manipur are also concerned in this as Phuntret habitually practises this form of lease, mostly on Melomi land.
text: Here too jungle burning is very troublesome. When one village burns its aras it takes no precautions against the spread of fire to the jungle of its neighbours, and I passed an order that each village must be responsible for clearing a fireline 30 cubits wide when burning land adjoining that of another village. If there be no such line, then any spread of fire will entail a penalty of Rs. 50/- to the village that suffers. If the fireline has been made properly there will be no penalty, and the spread of fire in this case must be regarded as an act of God.