The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: man killed for stealing, in Iyiche
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: SemaYimtsung
location: Baimho Iyiche
date: 14.7.1934
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 9.6.1934-30.7.1934
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 14th. Halted Baimho. Several trans-frontier Semas in about the Iyiche business, apparently it started by a Yimtsung in Iyiche (which is mainly Sema) looting a mithun from a Yimtsung village. A party of men from that village followed the blood tracks of the mithun to Iyiche, and found a man boiling the head of the stolen mithun over the fire. They not unnaturally shortened him on the spot, but then proceeded to mop up a number of women and children about the village indiscriminately, both Sema and Yimtsung. Most of the adult males were away working in the fields. As a matter of fact 8 of them were working in a panikhet on our side of the Tizu on land belonging to an administered chief. It seems that the attack was not premeditated. They probably killed the thief under the impulse of anger and then thought that having committed an act of war anyhow they might as well make hay while the sun shone and collect all the heads they could. It is unlikely that the Semas will be able to bring off any similar scoop in retaliation as it is well recognised that it is the opening raid that really yields heads, a principle which leads many Konyak villages to remain at war on the grounds that peace is too dangerous. Others seek peace and ensue it as the better to take heads in.