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: durbar; questions about the boundary between the Naga Hills, Munipur and Burma
medium: tours
person: ButlerOgleThompsonPinto
date: 16.2.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 16th Febry Sunday
text: Butler, Ogle & self rode there, Thompson went in a Jampan with large umbrella over him, very characteristic of his position, being painted with the color of the Union Jack. Guards were drawn up at every gateway, very ill drilled fellows of all sizes in a black uniform which is not a bad color but all was very slovenly done. I noticed that only one Guard presented arms to Butler, the rest even to the officer in ch of Gd returned their swords to scabbard as we went by. We were met by the Jub Raj the eldest son & his two younger brothers, all in green velvet tunics & epaulettes, white stockings & ammunition boots.
text: We then met the Raja at the entrance of his own house & thence retraced out steps a short way into the audience room. A square building opening on the four sides into verandah rooms. In the centre was a round table with white cloth & chairs placed around it. We took out seats in order of rank, only the sons of the Raja sitting, all other natives standing round about. The Band struck up a march & played a few airs extremely well considering that they were all small Naga boys & have previously been under the instruction of Mr Pinto about 5 months. They will evidently play really well ie if the band master is retained long enough. Conversation lagged a little at first until the Gt Boundary question was mooted. Butler explained to them that he was only carrying out the orders of Govt in laying down the boundary of 1842 & carrying it to the Eastward & that he had not instructions to go into the rights of the matter, that those the Raja must bring forward & produce himself. When, if, the Govt decided in altering their former opinion he would carry out such orders, but that now the orders were clear to make a survey of the watershed & he asked for their aid. To this the Raja distinctly gave a refusal saying that to the East of the Tellizo the country belonged either to Munipur or Burmah & in the presence of the writer afterwards said that the British Govt had no right to go there or even wish to see it. Butler told him that it would be better for him to act with a good grace now & that very possibly his rights across the watershed might be listened to, but that opposition wd ruin his case. It was no use. The last thing said by Butler was the he gave his advice as a friend, that such near neighbours as he & the Raja should be friends & that if anything went wrong hereafter to remember the advice he had that morning given him. We then shook hands with the Raja & his sons & I walked back beside Thompson's dooly to his house & continued this journal.
text: Determined to go out next day to see the more Southern position of the valley over the Logtak & wrote letter to Thompson to send on to Raja. We heard in evening that [blank] was to attend us on the trip but next [day] no one turned up save the Political Agents Jemadar & 3 or 4 sepoys of his Guard.