The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - memoir of time in the Naga Hills as a Deputy Commissioner, 1919-1920

caption: some cases
caption: land dispute between Nagas in the Naga Hills and Manipur State
medium: articles
person: Gimson
person: Cantlie/ Keith
date: 1919-1920
form: private collection
refnum: loaned by Dr Audrey Cantlie
text: Some Nagas lived in Manipur State near to the Police Station at Mao, just inside the Manipur State, 70 miles from the capital at Imphal. Mao was 20 miles from Kohima and I rode there while Gimson, Political Agent at Imphal, came by motor. The dispute was about the boundary of village land between Nagas of the Naga Hills and Nagas of Manipur. I found that I was expected to side with the Nagas of my district or be deemed as a traitor to them. So it was with Gimson. A way out was provided by a diving contest, a known method of decision. In the tank dug for water supply to the Police Station a representative of either side had to submerge. He who stayed under water longest won the case. To my dismay the head of the Naga Hills man was after a time seen nearing the surface. A Naga Hills man pushed it down with the butt end of his spear and I had to seize his spear. - The head came up and we lost. In inter-village cases those who gave evidence valued patriotism before truth telling.