The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Detailed description of megalithic remains between Kartong and Waichang; firemaking techniques
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: SemaBieteKuki
location: Kartong Waichang Kobak Bolasan
date: 20.10.1928
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 13.10.1928-27.10.1928
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 20 October
text: From Kartong to Waichang via Kobak - about 10 miles. Between Kartong and Kobak I noticed a fallen "bat" monolith and some outcrops of rock carved with orbs consisting merely of two concentric circles or of a simple circle. One or two had artificial pot-holes in them as if made for use as a paddy mortar, and some had conventionalized female genitalia. One knoll was a circular sitting stone and a tank, and on a knoll above was a small group of much damaged "bucket" stones and a pair of twin cairns. Further on was an outcrop of rock with a good mithan carved on it in outline (one would rather have expected buffalo here, where the latter is the animal used for ceremonial sacrifice and few mithan are kept), and nearby a square "pot-hole". Further on were three pairs of twin-tanks, then another pair, then a pair of twin circular ones.
text: At Kobak I got another shouldered celt and noticed that apparently the practice in using them as medicine is to knock off the shoulders - the easiest place, of course, to break pieces off, and I suspect that many of the shoulderless celts collected have been mutilated and originally had shoulders, which the finders have scraped off.
text: At Kobak was one of the "bun" sitting-stones - of which the bottom is rounded and the whole erected like the capstone of a dolmen, rather, on small supporting stones, though most of the weight is taken by the centre of the "bun". The top is flat and often has rude carvings. There were twin tanks close by - indeed the hills are littered with them. Further on is a site of the "pear" stones, this group resembling most nearly the older type, with larger hollows, at Bolasan. Most were buried nearly to the largest circumference, and to judge by one which is completely outside and lying on its side the site must be exceedingly ancient, as the length of these stones is much greater than those at Bolasan, the one referred to being about seven feet long, and it is unlikely that they were buried so deep to start with. They differ from most of the others in being carved round the tops with a double band crossed by oblique lines chevronwise like those on Sema genna posts, and in between these bands there were various carvings. One had a pair of pigs another a row of human heads. All were very much worn, and there were probably a number buried out of sight.
text: Between Kobak and Waichong is a "bun" stone, then two little "bun" stones one of them carved round the inner circumference with a rope pattern; then, a little further on the remains of an alignment which had consisted apparently of dissoliths composed of a "bun" stone and a "bat" stone, but all of the latter were fallen and most of them broken to fragments. Two of those that remained more or less intact held carvings of men somewhat resembling that at Kartong and one of them had a mithan in profile as well. The "bun" stones were some of them carved also, one having merely a conventionalized female organ, another a fish and a third a representation apparently of the sun, moon and stars. Further down the hill was another alignment which had consisted of "bun" stones and perhaps of menhirs as well, but the remains were greatly broken and defaced.
text: Waichang is a Biete village. I picked up a composite bullet bow, but of a very simple pattern, and a typical Biete petticoat with a beautiful pattern in blue down the back. Also a couple of elegant shouldered celts. I saw an old Kuki's shield of the Thado type and witnessed fire-making by a man and by a woman. The former used a bamboo hearth with the thong run under the convex side in a notch which was cut so as to leave a small aperture through the cortex to the shavings placed as tinder in the concave side. The latter was covered with another strip of bamboo and rested on two sticks and held with the feet which were placed across it. The woman's method is to fix a bamboo saw obliquely in the ground resting the other end in a cleft stick. The hearth, made in the same way as the man's, is taken in both hands and the notch is placed on the saw edge, and the hearth is run rapidly up and down it.