The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - W.H. Calvert's tour diary, March 1928


Notes on stones carved like elephants near Khangnam

medium: notestours
person: Hawingkumba MathaiKikeba/ of Khangnam
ethnicgroup: Kacharis
location: Khangnam Lakbai Mt. Boloson
date: 9.3.1928
person: Calvert/ W.H.
date: 3.1928
refnum: (from): J.P.Mills and others, "Tour Diaries and Administrative Notes from the North Cachar Hills, Assam. 1928-1940. Unpublished Government Papers" at SOAS Library, London. Pam. Assam B 314349.

9th March, 1928. Halt Khangnam. In course of conversation last evening with Hawingkumba Mathai, I ascertained that there were two stones in the jungle newly carved like elephants. I told him to arrange to have a path cut, and this morning I went along to have a look at them. We first climbed up to the top of the hill above Khangnam, locally known as 'Lakbai', but shown on the map as 'Tukbai'. It is a Survey Trig: point. Close to the top are the remains of an old tank said to have been dug by the Kacharis. Further along the spur we came to the elephant stones, which were covered with jungle and moss. Each stone was firmly embedded in the ground, the upper part of each being carved very crudely to resemble an elephant. They must have been done many years ago. After clearing them as well as possible I photographed them. A copy will be sent with this diary. Later, while rummaging in the jungle close by, I came across a stone lying on its side, [I searched for this, but could not locate it. Tank and upright stone were found, as were the elephants. - note by ?Ursula Graham Bower] measuring 5' long and 5' - 6" in circumference. It had a cavity and small slit at one end (which came to a point) like the stones at Boloson, but it was the same diameter throughout its length, and was obviously of a much cruder design - undoubtedly phallic. I photographed this, and also an upright stone which we found some little distance further on. This latter was just over 5 feet high and about 18" in diameter. Near the top were carved the features of a man. 'Kikeba' of Khangnam informed me this stone was put up many years ago to commemorate his great grand-father.