The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

letter from J.P. Mills to J.H. Hutton

caption: Lhota clans; origin myth
medium: letters
person: Hutton/ J.H.OvungthengTsoiothui clan
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 8.1.1920
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Hutton Ms. Box 313-14
text: Mokokchung
text: 8/1/1920
text: My dear Hutton,
text: Please excuse pencil, but a pen made no impression through the carbon paper. I have seen Ovungtheng of the Tsoiothui clan. He is the only man of the clan who knows anything of their traditions - and that is very little. He is probably totally unreliable. He cannot say with what Sema or Ao clan they came from and cannot even make up his mind what Lhota clan they go with. He claims that the real home of the clan is Tsoiothen - not Tsoiothui, and that the original ancestor came down from the sky and somehow attached himself to Shetri who was of the Apfuho clan. He therefore claims to belong to the tjat clan, but rather spoils his argument by admitting that he and his forefathers usually took wives from the Nguli clan. The original ancestor arrived from the sky wearing a new 'lengta'. This was kept as an heirloom for generations, but was destroyed in a fire during the lifetime of Ovungtheng's grandfather. A copy was made which is still preserved. It is really a dancing lengta in shape like a Lhota cowrie lengta. Made of red cloth, with three very thin blue longitudinal stripes, and ornamented with circles and stars of cowries. It measures 10 inches long by 8 inches broad and looks like this SKETCH
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text: I have made start with part 1 of the monograph - rather a beastly part to do
text: J.P. Mills