The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: to Longsa; conflict between Christians and ancients; pollarding
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Sema
location: Longsa Aochagalimi (Aochagulimi) Seromi
date: 16.7.1934
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 9.6.1934-30.7.1934
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 2
text: 16th. To Longsa. More Christian Semas in here. This time the trouble is overdue to the chief in kind. When the Ancients perform a pagan sacrifice the head of the sacrificed pig is given to the chief. It is part of his recognized right as head of the village. The Christians have of course slipped out of this payment, and the evasion is possibly one of the inducements to baptism. The chief of Aochagulimi and likewise one of the Seromi chiefs have been making up by insisting on the heads of "bible" pig, i.e. of pig subscribed for by the Xtian residents for the sustenance of catechumens being sent away to bible classes to some other villages the chief claims that this is a puja. He also claims the head of the pig killed for the entertainment of persons cooperating in the repairs or erection of the Xtian conventicle. In the latter claim he has some show of reason for it is analogous to many heads paid by the ancients on the occasion of (e.g.) mending the village defences. Probably some sort of general district order will have to be passed to cover these payments, but as the chief's dues vary from village to village it will need careful farming.
text: The trees by the roadside pollarded to a better height on this stage, though in some cases cut too low, they also appear to have been pollarded at the wrong time. If pollarded about 8 ft. up in September and the top of the stump sloped off so that rain does not lodge on it the new shoots will come from the top and go straight up. Any living lower down can be trimmed off. It is better to pollard alternate trees only in one year and leave the others to the next year but one, as the seed from the unpollarded alders is needed for the regeneration of jhums near the road. Birches ('yeppasu') have been pollarded as well as alders. This is wrong. It spoils the tree if it does not kill it; the same applies to Acacias ('moosu'), which may be made more use of here. They are beautiful to look at and are very good for jhums and also quick growers.