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: description of Kezahkenomah; plane-tabling; description of rock formations; news of Munipuris looting over the border
medium: tours
person: Nirhoo/ of Razami
location: Khezha-Kenoma (Kezahkenomah) Swemi (Sohimah) Laniye R. (Lanier R.) Tetier R. Gazifhema (Garifemah)
date: 21.1.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 21st Jany.
text: One of the most lovely days, clear & bright with a most delightful temp're & Kezahkenomah looked very pretty midst its fine terraced fields as we ascended the ridge to Tellizo. After a chota hazari & a walk through the village which has a number of houses with the curious prolonged weatherboards over the front gable ends. The men & boys of the village came trooping in in a long line carrying logs for firewood, setting up their peculiar cry as they approached the camp. Just after leaving the camp & after entering the wood on the hill side I saw a bird crouching on the side of the path which I at first took for a partridge but on its rising it proved to be a fine woodcock. We went into the jungle & flushed it again but Butler missed it. From Tellizo we got a fine view into the Munipur side. Plane Tabled & observed angles all day, Butler very kindly recording. Japvo very obstinate & the clouds did not clear until after 4 o/c which kept us on the point till quite 5 o/c. Put up a partridge 9 black on the descent & reached camp after dark. Tellizo which is [blank] feet is capped with Ter. sandstones of pale ochrey color - fine, the higher beds are thick bedded, total thickness abt [blank] ft, the lower beds are thinner bedded & very hard & close grained & the dip of these [26] tertiary rocks has here changed to the S.E. a bend taking place in the strike on the axis of the N & South line that marks the depression in the range & at the same time the [outside wall] of the newer rocks. These on the higher line of elevation NEast have at first a S dip & then a SE. Another rockface below the tertiary are the shaley slates. On arrival in camp the first thing we heard was a matter that dispirited us much. A Naga from Nizamah (Razami evidently) one Nirhoo had brought a report a small Munipuri force was on the other side of the range and had penetrated as far as a place called Sohimah (Swemi) & were threatening another Garifemah. They had not killed any one but were looting the country. These villages they say are situated on the Lanier to a tributary of a large river the Tetier which flows to Assam, that the last is deep & in its bed stones that strike fire are found (probably quartz). Thus they have crossed the very watershed they were to have visited by the order of Govt to lay down the boundary & this in the face of a letter saying that owing to the drain on the country owing to the Lushai expedition the work on the Cachar side & on the Burmese frontier they cd not supply a guard of 80 men for the Boundary work. The force upon the raid is said to have some 400 coolies which might be 200 armed men. Garifemah it is said has sent away all its women & children. It intended to fight. A woman formerly of Garifemah now living in Nizameh had brought in the news. The news was partly confirmed by our kookies in camp saying that they had heard when at Sopvomah from other Kookies who came in with supplies from Munipur that a lot of Kookie coolies had been taken off with a force somewhere on the East. If this should really be true the petty State of Munipur could not have done a more impudent thing, besides keeping the Political Agent completely in the dark, and they are bound to let him know when any expedition may be sent into any of the independent country on his border. Neither in Sohimah or Gaziphemah have they ever before set foot.