The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: to Bhandari; omplaints regarding bamboo and thatch indents; cheap labour to help gaonburas; lac cultivation; introduction of a Mikir village
medium: tours
person: Dennehy/ Mr
ethnicgroup: LhotasMikir
location: Bhandari Lishiyo (Lisio) Longcham Impang Merapani (Mirapani)
date: 13.7.1928-14.7.1928
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 5.7.1928-30.7.1928
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 13 July
text: To Bhandari.
text: 14 July
text: Halted Bhandari - Lisio village came in - all the men except one left to mind the village. They want a new Gaonbura but have nothing between old men and boys - only 15 houses altogether.
text: Longcham complains bitterly of the annual indents for bamboos. They say 200 to 300 (this year it was more) are annually required from them for repairing the Inspection Bungalow and outhouses, and they are suffering from depleted bamboo clumps, while the labour of bringing them about 2 miles is too much for their village as they have to cross a deep ravine which makes transport very difficult. They have less than 20 houses. Impang similarly complain of the thatch indents, and it is perfectly true that these indents are an infernal nuisance to small villages. This bungalow ought to be roofed with tin, and the out-houses likewise and it should be cheap to get it up from Mirapani as far as carriage goes.
text: The Lhota G.B.B. of Sadr want an order like that in force in Mokokchung under which all Gaonburas get one day's compulsory labour per year per house of their own khel at a fixed rate of - /2/- except at harvest time. If taken then the price is -/4/-. The G.B. to feed the labourers. It seems reasonable. The G.B. gets little enough out of his job anyhow. Dobashis get similarly one day's labour from the whole village.
text: I visited the lac here. There is a seed garden for distribution which has so far paid for itself, the demonstrator having opened it at his own expense on the understanding that he got coolies at Government rates and the empty lac after the seed had been distributed. He should make on it. Lac is everywhere. I am afraid there will be some over-production, but the Lhotas state that if it drops 50% there should still be a profit. There is a Mikir village here introduced by Mr. Dennehy, I think, with a view to teaching lac cultivation. The Lhotas, however, are very scornful and say that their methods of growing lac are as contemptible almost as their attempts to grow rice, which are already a by-word. The trouble I fore-see from lac cultivation which I think can be forestalled if taken now. There is an universal Naga custom by which a man who sees a young and unmarked tree on land not belonging to him can take possession of it and claim it as his and his title is good as against the owner of the land. This has only been applied as far as I know to timber trees, but I asked if no attempt had been made to apply it to lac trees and they told me that it had and that there was a general scramble going on for shrubs that produce lac. I think the right to adopt one's neighbour's shrub must be stopped. It will not matter, as long as it is done soon, that some have been appropriated, as they are all hot weather plants - leeac, I think, and will die.