The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

letter from J.H. Hutton to Henry Balfour

caption: Hutton leaving Naga Hills to take up post in Shillong; description of objects sent to the Pitt Rivers Museum; Tangkhul headdress; Chui carvings; model canoe-gong
medium: letters
person: Balfour/ HenryNikrihuBor/ N.L.
ethnicgroup: Rengma <Naked
location: Lapvomi (Lephori) Chi (Chui)
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 31.3.1935
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: J.P. Mills Box (not numbered)
text: Kohima
text: 31/3/1935
text: Dear Balfour,
text: Many thanks for your letter. I leave here for Shillong in a couple of days, but hope to get off a chalan to you first - including a very fine Tangkhul headdress and gorget given me by Lephori village (Naked Rengma) in which there is no longer any one entitled to wear it. The carvings are from Chui. I cannot help thinking that they had a very personal reference to the officer (not the present S.D.O.) who collected them. I part with the sitting figure with reluctance, but cannot well keep them on my chimney piece.
text: The model canoe-gong was probably from an original. Konyak c.gongs have realistic heads much more often than Ao ones. There is no woodcarver in Tamlu that I know of but I will try and get a model stamping board made. No, I do not know if 'nemoricola' and 'solitaris' drum, but I imagine they do from the narrowed feathers in the tail. I don't think they ever breed here, so I suppose they wouldn't drum here either.
text: I do not know that the post of Chief Secretary is any great catch, but it will save my leave pay next time I come home. I have no illusions as to it. It was merely faute de mieux that they put me in and heavens I could have reasonably groused if they didn't. Probably they will find me so ill suited that they will throw me out.
text: Stella comes home in March, but will likely come out again in November.
text: Nikrihu is dead - last month - pheumonia - and he had spent all his substance in gennas for his sick father-in-law. His children will suffer for that. Your other friends thrive.
text: I have just been over the frontier in Kalyo-Kengyu - Yimtsungr country (new). Very dull indeed. Practically no material culture of any novelty or interest. Villages squalid and without art and very poor.
text: I hope [blot] all right and about again. N.L. Bor has relieved me here. He offered the Museum some Tibetan stuff but never got an answer. I must pack now.
text: J.H. Hutton