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 on Japvo; Butler goes to Mao
medium: tours
person: BhimnarainButlerThomson/ Col. M.
location: Kigwema Mao Telizo Japvo Mt.
date: 5.1.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 5th Jany. Started off abt 8 o/c. No water for anyone. I finished off the cold fowl & washed it down with a pint of ale, so I was not so badly off after all. As none of the men had eaten or drank the previous evening I had to send down a portion of them to cook & bring up water from the last place below & with 7 Khasis & one Colashie Bhimnarain a heliotroper we started off again for the top of the Peak. Freshened by the night's rest & the path being better from use we only took three-quarters of an hour what had taken us one and three-quarters the previous day. Found the Nagas round their fire & took them on still further along the ridge until I spotted the highest points. This part I found covered with a thick growth of a small stemmed bamboo (16) from 7 to 8 feet high. The forest trees consisted of Rhododendron, at least 3 sp, two growing to large trees & yew & box pretty common, another tree a birch now leafless completed the list. The Northern side & that of the main range of the Burrail westward was quite white with the frost upon the trees, but little could be seen & none of the peaks. On Japvo it was bright & fine, dense fog filled all the valleys around. Having got the top of the hill I set plane table & laid out rays to the other trig stations & began opening them up. The Nagas worked spasmodically & at last after one and a half hours work, said they must go down to their village Kigwema & as lazy workmen are worse than useless & set a bad example I did not attempt to detain them. My Khasis worked away & were joined abt 1 o/c by the rest from below bringing the cooked rice & water. By evening all the low scrubby bamboo stuff was cleared away & a look out is making itself felt. Wrote to Butler before starting in morning for gourds for water called "lao" here & another chit after coolies had left reporting state of matters & to send up all the Kookis he has. Dak came in abt 2 o/c when I found that Butler & Col. M. Thomson have gone on to the Mao village to look after the boundary work to put up mark on Telizo. I am sorry they went away so soon as I see difficulty will follow on their absence & we shall be bashed for a longer residence on Japvo. Evening much colder & more wind which blows in under the awning where I am sitting writing this with feet like lumps of ice. I must off for a warm by the fire.