The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: effect of Gaidhiliu uprising, and punishment fines; Kachha poverty; Kuki resentment against Manipur
medium: tours
person: Gaidhiliu
ethnicgroup: KachhaKuki
location: Thuyeng (Rejame) Bakomei (Bakema) Tamenglong
date: 9.5.1934
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 4.5.1934-27.5.1934
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 9th. Left Political Agent in Chekema and marched in the rain again to Rejame (Thuyeng) via Bakema (Yang Khunou). After Bakema a very pleasant march (if it had been fine) descending under cliffs and past waterfalls and through oakwoods for over 3000 feet and then up a very steep climb of another 2000 and a little more. Thuyeng is I think the first Naga village I have seen with a stream running through the village among the houses. It is well defended and the walls still had panjis in, no doubt a legacy of the troubles. I had much conversation here with my Kuki interpreter and with others about these troubles and their aftermath. Apparently Gaidhiliu has told everyone that she cannot be killed and cannot be confined for long. She has given sums of money to people to keep for her all over the country; only a few have come to light but these are believed to be many more. I suggested that when, if ever, she came out of gaol she might find it difficult to collect, but they did not agree about that at all, and said quite definitely that it would probably be kept safe for her. Apparently she pronounced terrible curses upon anyone who divulged any information of her, her movements or doings, and as she was believed to have the supernatural powers she claimed, the fear of incurring the curse was largely the cause of the unexpected difficulty in getting information from Kachha Nagas. She also granted a plenary dispensation from observing any oaths taken to representatives of Government and undertook that no ill effects should follow the breach of them - a lady of some intelligence, obviously. Incidentally I gathered that the fines of rice inflicted in the Naga Hills had been so heavy as to completely exhaust the supply in poorer houses, no doubt a village fined so many maunds of rice (I gather it was two maunds a house in many cases) distributed the fine equally by houses, not according to ability to pay. This would come very hard on the poorer households. Probably the outstanding amounts will have to be remitted. It does not pay to reduce people to a state of desperation, when they are far more likely to give trouble than if they have something to lose, and would be more susceptible to the hopes held out by the next false prophetess. In any case I have rarely known the Kachha Nagas in the Naga Hills have much rice to spare. They are quite the poorest part of the district and have more often needed loans than any other in the past, and have found it so hard to repay that repayments have been largely remitted. In the course of the conversation I was also told that there is some agitation among the Kukis in Manipur, particularly in the Tamenlong area against being regarded as the subjects of H.H. the Maharaja, a condition which apparently displeases them, and also one which they could probably argue with some plausibility had never been accepted by them, as before the British occupation they were generally treated as allies rather than subjects by the Manipuris, not excluding the occasion when a number of the principal chiefs were inveigled to Imphal and assassinated.