The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: to Perenmi; village decision to join Gaidhiliu uprising
medium: tours
keywords: ordealadulteryspiritshornsmorung
person: GaidhiliuJadunong
location: Tasanki (Tesangki) Birema (Perenmi) Chalkot
date: 12.5.1934
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 4.5.1934-27.5.1934
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 12th. To Tesangki - Turning aside by the way to Perenmi which made the march one of nearly 20 miles, for which I am barely yet in training, but easy going on the bridle path. I counted Perenmi and discussed with them their waywardness in the matter of Jadunong, Gaidhiliu etc. This village was one of the most troublesome, but seems to have had its bellyful. I told them that I thought the best thing would be to transfer them with the adjoining villages to the Manipur State. This disturbed them. They considered they had been punished heavily enough in fines of free rice and free labour and in having their house tax raised to Rs.3/- and in losing their guns, without anything more. I fancy it will be some time before they give trouble again, and I gather from what was said that the richer ones generally were against any sedition, but that those with nothing to lose said that they meant to try the 'maibi's' advice anyway and the rest had better come in with them as if they got punished they would all catch it anyhow, or if there was any profit in it those who stood out would miss the bus so to speak.
text: In the course of the conversation by the road a Kuki ordeal (new to me) was described in which the procedure in case of undiscovered thefts in the village is for all concerned to put each a parcel of rice into a single pot which is boiled for long enough to cook it through. The thief's parcel will emerge quite uncooked. A case in point was mentioned as having occurred in Kangjang a year or two ago. It was also mentioned that the Kuki Baptist villages - Chalkot in particular - were notorious for adultery and fornication cases. The same was alleged of the Ao Baptists in Mokokchung, but in my experience they were no worse than their neighbours in that respect - and no better. The Perenmi gaonbura's house had an enormous hornet's nest (empty) hanging in his portico - no doubt to keep away evil spirits who have to count the cells before they get by - and also two imitation rock bees nests made of sage palm wood and hung from the roof "by way of ornament". I also saw for the first time the enormous pair or wooden "horns" (recalling the older type of forked stones at Dimapur) which are made by the younger men in the jungle and carried by a bride to the girls morung where they are deposited - a custom said to be peculiar to Perenmi. A complaint was made on the road that the drivers of the ration ponies when opening the mithun gate to let the ponies through, throw the bamboos down the khud and leave the gates open. It is naturally annoying to find the road barred, but the villages owning mithan have leave to put the gates up, and they are very little trouble to reclose, whereas recovering strayed cattle may be very difficult.