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: to Yakko and Sangpurr with troops; unfriendly villages; daos confiscated from young men of Tuensang and Chingmirem who followed; heads in Sangpurr; log-drums; wooden shingle roofs; morungs; monument to men killed at Chentang, at Yakko, built to induce their souls to return; disappearance of the Chingmirem gaonbura in Sangpurr
medium: articlestours
person: Chingmak
location: Yakko Sangpurr Pansorr Tuensang Chingmiren (Chingmirem) Tsohyemung R. Chentang
date: 17.11.1923
person: Hutton/ J.H.
date: 10.1923-11.1923
text: 7th. Halted and took 30 rifles and visited Yakko and Sangpurr villages, a long and tiring day. It was about 7 miles to Yakko - down to the Shetche and then a very steep climb up, and I suppose another mile or more to Sangpurr, of which Yakko is an offshoot.
text: Yakko received us with reserve, but amicably on the whole, and professed a desire for friendly relations. We left the surveyor at work with four rifles to look after him and went on to Sangpurr proper. Here it was all but a matter of firing on them. They had removed much of their stuff (we did not see a single pig) and the men were gathered together with spears, bows, daos and shields. While we were out of sight between the two villages they were seen by those left in Yakko to be dancing about and brandishing weapons, but this subsided when we reached them, and all they did was to sit about looking very sulky while we made a tour of the village but if it had not happened that we had to wait, before entering, for Chingmak to do a ceremony such as Ongli did when entering Tobu, [Cf. 13th November.] which gave a Kuthurr gaonbura time to run on and dissuade them from fighting, they would otherwise have certainly tried to put up a fight and we should have had to fire on them. As it was, one old man sitting in the street as we went by offered a thimble-full of modhu and two eggs and said that that was all he would give us unless we would destroy Pansorr the next village to the east, and that otherwise he would have nothing to do with us. I was vastly minded to put on him a pair of handcuffs we had with us and leave him so, saying he could wear them for my sake and come and have them taken off when he had acquired a sweeter tongue, but he was old, and it was hardly worth the value of the handcuffs.
text: We had been followed up to Yakko and Sangpurr by a train of 20 to 30 bucks from Tuensang and Chingmirem who had appeared very curiously at Chentang the night before, scenting trouble and possibly having had a hand in preparing it. I confiscated all their daos and said I would give them back when we reached Kuthurr next day, to which they should carry some of our loads, since they so loved our company. We had a wonderful view from Yakko village and saw three villages on the range running south east from Yakko mountain - Alam, Youkhao and Pansorr (the rumoured " Aoshed "), and two more on the range behind Sanglao, - also seen from Chingmei - and Poi. The river dividing the Alam-Panso range from the Sangpurr range is called Tsohyemung, and runs, like all the rivers here, into the Zungki and so by the Ti-Ho to the Chindwin.
text: Sangpurr seems always to be at war, and there were many heads hanging up in the village hung on bamboos, as at Chentang, where they are left to rot away and drop, as is the Sema practice.
text: The houses have plank walls, and the drums are of a type more or less new to me and hollow throughout, the ends not being closed at all. [SKETCH
text: On the outskirts of Yakko I saw two shields and carrying baskets with stones in them and upturned gourds on sticks put outside the village towards Chentang to call the souls of the two men who died there the other day. The stones were put in to remind them of their native soil, and so induce them to return.
text: In the evening as I was sitting over the fire rather congratulating myself on having had no need to open fire at Sangpurr a man came in to say that the gaonbura of Chingmirem and his two sons, who had followed us up to Sangpurr had not returned. The situation was discussed by all the Nagas and he was found to have been last seen entering a house in the least friendly khel of all. It was decided emphatically that all three men must be dead. I felt a little doubtful, but thought that they knew better than I, and decided we must go back to Sangpurr in the morning. I took no responsibility for them and they had gone against my orders, but Sangpurr did not know that they were not of our party. The probability of their death was clinched by the surveyor having seen from the hill where he was working, the middle khel waving their daos, dancing and shouting after we had left, which left practically no doubt that they were dead. Obviously there was no choice but to go back to Sangpurr and find out.