The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: surveying; sketch of Naga boy; to Jotsoma; Naga dress; to Kohimah; Nagas refuse to supply rice
medium: tours
person: JamesOgleCowan
location: Zubza R. Jotsoma Kohima (Kohimah)
date: 30.12.1872
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: Decr 30th
text: We first on the morning of the 30th ascended the hill above the village for abt 1500 ft whence we obtained a magnificent view & saw the big distant peak again & got a better intersection. It lies close on the Kyeng Dweng river about 20 miles from it according to NE frontier map, but is most probably close upon it. It has never been seen before or its position recorded. James here left us for the Simagooding side and Ogle & self descended through the rice fields terraced on a steep slope to the river Zubza, where we found breakfast ready abt 2pm. I afterwards took a sketch of a Naga boy who sat very well & came out very well in profile with his curious knot of hair tied up into a roll of cotton & the half conch shell hanging from the back of the neck. Ascent stiff up to Jotsama which extends in three separate sections up the slope.
text: (Jotsomah 25.9 - 3.30pm, night past 25.5)
text: The people turned out to see us go by & some of the men were got up in a very gorgeous way with feathers in their hair & earrings with pendant red dyed goat's hair that is attached to boar's tusks that pass through the ears. Our guide from here was got up in this way & was a most picturesque savage as he walked ahead, his parti colored sheets thrown over his shoulders & his spear adorned with red goat's hair & large armlets of wood on his arm above the elbow, his legs bound round below the knees with a long coil of thin cut cane - this I notice leaves this part of the leg very rough & unwholesome-looking. Descended again to a tributary of the Zubza, where a complete change occurs in the ecological features of this part. Thin clay shales of very dark blue color are seen & traces of vein quartz occur. The bed much contorted, an older series of rocks altogether probably of the age of the shales of the Bogapani in the Khasi country. It is very evident here how they come in for with the N & South direction of the main sandstone range we find the thala dipping west coming in unconformably on the slaty shales - evidently unconformably & I expect they will continue far to the east & that the gneiss will there also make its appearance. The tertiaries are represented in an extension of the range NE of Telizo. We arrived at Kohimah late dusk & found they had put the camp on side of hill below the village on the West side, not a bad place. People did not shew, much, a few men & a lot of boys only & they refused rice very determinedly, this is a great nuisance as we have to use our own supply & I do not like to use force which might bring on a collision out of which right or wrong I should come out 2nd best with Govt. Officers will remember Cowan. Very cold at night. Loaded our guns & rifles in case of a row or alarm, but night passed off very quietly & in morning on looking out a white frost covered the ground. The [12] min ther marking 31.5.