The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: counting Dzula; calm of Kaccha Nagas since Gaidhiliu uprising; reassessment of over-heavy fines
medium: tours
person: GaidhiliuPawseyMills
ethnicgroup: KukiKachha NagaAngami
location: Dzulake (Dzula) Khonoma Dzulu R. Nakama (Benroumi)
date: 26.5.1934
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 4.5.1934-27.5.1934
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 26th. To Khonoma via Dzula which I counted. This small village has lately been making magnificent panikhets to be planted with a cold rice seed from the Chin Hills, but is still very poor as the fields have not come to bear yet, and they have been unable to sell their excellent potatoes at a price which will cover the labour of carrying them the 20 miles to Kohima, where the present price paid for potatoes retail is only 3 pice a seer.
text: At Dzula I was back in the Angami country, having been among Kachha Nagas and Kukis since leaving Maram. I think it may be taken as quite definite that no more trouble need be expected from Kachha Nagas at present. I had no escort anywhere and there was never a hint of its being required. The Head Interpreter who was with me commented emphatically and of his own accord on the change in atmosphere since he last came this way with Mr. Mills. He also added that Nagas and Kukis were like small boys at school and certain to get into mischief if not watched and that he thought intensive touring on the first sign of trouble might have put an end to it earlier. That is all very well, but for some years the touring in Sadr has been too much to get through, and there has been no A.C. at Head Quarters since Mr. Pawsey. House counting is much behind, several of the Kachha Naga villages I went to not having been reassessed since I did it six years ago. I had to reduce the assessments of most villages abnormally on account of excessive poverty. Here again one reason for the way in which the agitation caught on suggests itself. The Kachha Naga in most villages is, and long has been, desperately poor. Since the slump they have been able to get nothing for their cotton and chillies, and many more than before have had real difficulty in raising the petty cash for their house tax. Any prophetess who promised prosperity and affluence would be bound to take on, and at first there was not necessarily anything seditious in endeavouring to profit by sending presents for a blessing. The attitude of the Naga in this respect is rather well illustrated by the case of Benroumi village which could not decide whether to join the movement or not. One party in the village wished to do so the other didn't, so they sent in to Mr. Mills to ask him whether they should take up this new cult or not. They got a very decisive answer and kept out of it. It was apparently only when the movement had begun to take on that the idea of killing Kukis and driving out the European was introduced (in the Naga Hills that is), and it was then perhaps shown as a necessary precedent to obtaining the blessings of the golden age that was to be brought back. Certainly at this stage fear of disobeying the prophetess's instructions and of incurring her curse was very real, and the way in which the ancient legends of the Kachha Nagas were used was very clever. Apart from the distribution of TELOU DU there is a long standing legend in this tribe of a king sleeping under Japvo (like Barbarossa) who is to return to rule over all those who eat from a wooden platter. Hence, in part, the ease with which the tribe was persuaded that a prince (or princess) had at last arisen. At any rate in the Naga Hills (thought not perhaps so much in Manipur) the economic aspect was, I am convinced, important. All the villages in any way concerned have been heavily punished with punitive labour, fines of rice at a heavy rate, additional taxation and loss of guns. Although it is not possible to regard the whole matter is closed as long as the murders of the Lakema Kukis are undetected, some villages which took no real part in the movement and are most unlikely to have had any part in that murder have been too heavily punished. I propose, with the Commissioner's approval, to take the following course:- To remit all unpaid fines of rice entirely; to reduce to Rs.2/- again the rates of revenue for Punglomi, Gailimi, Golomi, Taponmi and Phuilomi and to give that reduction retrospective effect in regard to any revenue still unpaid; to return the guns of the first four of these villages at once as they are needed for the protection of crops. Similar action will probably have to be taken with regard to other villages later on. The guard at Henima should probably be left there for the time being, but it ought to be quite safe to withdraw it before next hot weather. The P.A. in Manipur says definitely that it is not needed at all from his point of view.