The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript copy of a letter from J.H. Hutton probably to C.G. Seligmann

caption: dreams
medium: letters
person: Zelucha/ of JotsomaVise/ of ViswemaSolhu/ of Kezakenoma
ethnicgroup: Kezama
location: Razama
date: Seligmann/ C.G.8.9.191316.9.1913
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms, Box 3, 26
seealso: photo of Zelucha's grave
text: My only other remarkable dream experience was only personal in so far as I recorded the matter in my tour diary before the event was known. I have given an account of it at page 147 of my monograph on 'The Angami Nagas' (Macmillan 1921), which I quote:- "To dream of being bitten by a tick, which cannot be pulled out is an omen of approaching death, while to dream of a man dressed entirely in new clothes is a sure premonition of the death of the man thus seen. A curious instance of this came within the writers own experience. He left Kohima for a tour in the Kezama villages on September 8th 1913. At the moment of leaving, his own interpreter, Zelucha of Jotsoma, came up to say that he was not feeling very well and would prefer to join later after two or three days, so another interpreter, Vise of Viswema, was taken in his place. Mao was reached on the 10th, Kezakenoma on the 11th, Razama on the 13th. At Razama Zelucha was expected to arrive, but another interpreter, Solhu of Kezakenoma, came instead, saying that Zelucha was ill. On hearing this Vise remarked that he knew it already, and that Zelucha was going to die. When asked how he could possibly say this, as Zelucha had been quite well a few days before and had not been really ill when Vise saw him, Vise said that he had dreamt of him on the night of the sleeping at Mao, and had seen him dressed entirely in new clothes. This, he said, left no doubt. The news of Zelucha's death reached camp at Tekhubama on September 16th.
text: I have a very vivid recollection of the details of this incident, which occurred just as has been recorded. I noted the dream and its interpretation in my tour diary (now [ie. in 1921] in the Deputy Commissioner's office in Kohima) when it was mentioned to me, and before Zelucha's death had actually occurred. He died, I think, on the 14th. He had been of great assistance in collecting the information given in this monograph and the loss was a personal one".
text: J.H. Hutton