The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.P. Mills, tour diary, January 1928

caption: Impressive megaliths at Boloson; case heard concerning graziers and bribe-taking; Christians-Ancients conflict at Gampai
medium: notestours
ethnicgroup: Gurkhali
location: Chenam Boloson Gampai
date: 22.1.1928
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 1.1928
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 Unpublished Government Papers" at SOAS Library, London.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.
text: 22nd Jan. To Chenam 13 miles 8-20 - 2-20. We went via Boloson Gampai Christian village and old Gampai.
text: The megalithic remains below Boloson, of which I was told yesterday, far exceeded my expectations. I will not burden my tour diary with a detailed description. Suffice it to say that I counted over 180 of the pear-shaped stones I saw yesterday, mostly fallen but a few upright on their stalk ends. They varied in height from 7 to 3 feet, and do not seem all to belong to the same period. They are pretty certainly phallic. The lay-out is rather difficult to see now, but they seem to have been set up in lines along the little parallel paths which must have extended along the flat top of the ridge. This is, I believe, the biggest collection of megaliths in Assam.
text: The usual complaint about graziers was lodged. There are three Kutis on Boloson land, with at least 300 head of cattle. As we could see for ourselves they have grazed out the area allotted to them and now wish to move on to the other half of Boloson land. Boloson object, as this would mean starvation for them. The upshot of the whole thing was a case tried by the Subdivisional Officer today in which it was proved that Boloson had objected to the graziers when they originally came there 3 years ago, that the Subdivisional Officer had held no personal enquiry, that the Mauzadar had falsely reported that there was no objection, and that the Mauzadar had finally taken Rs. 100/- from each of the Kutis for his services. He was convicted.
text: Gampai Christian village consists of 19 houses, of which 7 belong to widows. The head-man apologised for not producing a chicken, as to catch one today would involve breaking the sabbath. The women and girls are properly dressed as Nagas should be, but some of the men and most of the boys resemble indigent Gurkhalis, save that they have cropped and oiled heads, after the manner of the plains. The conventicle is in the form of a Naga house, which is right, but there is no 'deka chang', and I suggested they should build one, as it is contrary to all Naga notions of decency that brothers and sisters should sleep in the same room after puberty. Old Gampai is a small village, which is still shrinking. Mission emissaries do not often preach or hold services in it, but the village objects strongly when they do, and I do, and I do not see why their prejudices should not be respected. The Christian village would object strongly if a party from the old village suddenly appeared and sacrificed a buffalo with due ceremony in their midst.