The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - J.H. Hutton, Diaries of Two Tours in the Unadministered Area East of the Naga Hills', 1926

caption: Second Tour
caption: rebuilt forts at Khonoma
medium: articlestours
location: Khonoma
date: 9.10.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 10.1923-11.1923
text: Oct. 9th. - From Kohima to Khonoma and back, to see the new "forts." The three khels have erected each a big stone dahu (Pl. 7, figs. 1, 2
text: These have cost a tremendous lot in labour and expense, and are magnificent specimens of Angami stone-work which cannot be approached in any village in the hills. They contain a great deal of dressed stone which of course the older erections did not, though Samaguting claim to have used dressed sandstone for graves before the British occupation. The Merhema dahu has stone water spouts, and projecting stones bored with holes to carry the bamboo scaffolding used to build the upper parts of the wall. [Mr. E. H. New tells me that this method was anciently used in Britain. If so it must be a case of independent invention on the part of the Nagas.] In the case of this dahu the parapet round the top is dressed to a fine edge instead of being merely composed of flat stones. The Semoma dahu has a very large platform of rough stone filled with earth and a rather smaller tower, made partly only of dressed stone, with the usual sitting place in the top. The lower platform is to be partly paved later to cover the graves that there are in it. The Thevoma dahu is at present much like that of Merhema, bigger but not quite so well built; the lower platform was to have been much broader on one side though not so big as Semoma. The ground however has slipped and the whole of this has gone. It was flagged out with stick and strings, and I gave leave for it to be rebuilt to the extent from which it had slipped. Merhema had a blank tablet ready and a written inscription to be vetted, and I passed an inscription saying that the dahu had been built with the permission of the D.C. Semoma had already put up an inscribed tablet in better English than I should have expected setting forth the history of the affair in a quite unobjectionable manner, but adding that " J. H. Hutton, etc., etc.," had given leave for the erection of the dahu on which account they were " heartily pleased to erect this stone to the memory of Mr. Hutton," and requested Govt. officials not to interfere with it. This seemed a little premature, and as they had of course added nothing about my threat to pull the dahu down again, I ordered them to put up a revised inscription leaving me out of it. Thevoma had wisely refrained from any sort of tablet. They nearly always show better taste than the other two clans, to that extent justifying the claim of the Thevoma to be the aristocrats of the Angami Tribe.