The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Cloth and beads presented to Pereme by king of Kacharis; legend of lost cannon; burial customs; clay models of cattle
medium: tours
person: Johnstone/ Gen.Merhema khel/ Khonoma
ethnicgroup: KachariAngami <EasternKuki
location: Tasanki (Tesangki) Birema (Pereme) Samaguting Khonoma
date: 12.5.1929
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 6.5.1929-27.5.1929
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 12 May.
text: To Tesangki via Pereme ("Berrima") which I recounted. About 18 miles altogether. This village possessed a cloth and some "beads" presented to it in pre-British days by a king of the Kacharis. The cloth is a cotton cloth with an elephant, two horses and four fish and the Sun and Moon (?) as well as conventional border patterns woven on it in the style of the cloths made in Manipur for the Eastern Angami market, but of very much superior work. The beads consisted of what was probably the chin-strap of an 18th century cavalry helmet, being a series of little brass plates numbered and overlapping each other decreasing in size towards the centre and attached to a strip of hide, with two circular brass plates embossed with a lion's head, probably the bosses at each end where the chinstrap was attached to the helmet. The village was given a cannon at the same time, and this cannon was seen in the village by, I think, General Johnstone when the Head Quarters of the district was at Samaguting, but Khonoma took it away (it took eight men to carry it) during the present generation, and now deny all knowledge of the matter though the gun is said to have been experimentally fired by them and to have cracked. It is certainly in existence somewhere in the knowledge of the Merhema clan but Pereme refuse to lodge a claim or complaint and themselves deny the existence of it through fear of Khonoma's ill-will. I only came to learn of its existence through General Johnstone's diary, and of its subsequent history by back door channels.
text: In this village a shield (as well as spears no doubt) is buried with dead men. Memorials are built for the dead as a result, generally, of the advice of seers during times of misfortune or scarcity. Such memorials take the form of stone rectangles (only they are not quite rectangular) built about a foot-path, one end being slightly narrower than the other and gaps being left at the entrance and exit of the path. Memorials for the living are built in the form of a circular ring of stones with a paved path dividing it into semicircles.
text: Little clay models of cattle are made, as by the Eastern Angamis. Inspected Pereme School.
text: Many Kukis came to meet me on the road from various villages and I reached Tesangki late. The elephants have pulled up many of the mile stones.