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: mapping; description of headman from Ukrul; description of Tangal Major
medium: tours
person: Tangal Major
ethnicgroup: Tangkul
location: Ukhrul (Ukrul) Shiroifurar
date: 30.3.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 30th March
text: Started from camp at 6.30 for the Peak. The other two were not yet up. A most lovely morning, cool & pleasant. Rounding the spur above & to the south of camp we entered a main valley from the Sheroifurar range, the hill sides mostly bare [71] to the Southward, then woods of oak in the ravines, the lateral valley all forest clad higher up. It was a good long ascent, nearly all in fine open ground. Only twice did we turn into the forest on the left & Eastern side, & I was up the summit in about 2 and a quarter hours. The day was unfortunately not very clear so that I could not do any triangulation or get the run of some of the country to the NE & SE yet the view was a superb one. To the SE we looked down into a deep valley whose waters drain away towards Sumjok & into the Lingti or Kyengdweng. This valley was backed on the Easternward by a considerable range running N-S. The main range to the Northwards is covered with forest & gradually rises in that direction. The spur thrown off to the north becoming bare about mid-way into the valleys below. To the South a very straight line of ridge is thrown off from Shiroifurar & separates the waters of the Thobal and those flowing into the Kubboo valley from those in the next large drainage area SE, the name of which we did not obtain. Tangal Major came up & looked on while I was sketching the country & we looked up the map the Munipuris have made. The villages on the SE they say they have visited & taken over but I very much doubt if they have. Further north they have no doubt penetrated into a portion they call Jatrik. I do not myself consider there is any objection to Munipur pushing on in to the hills E of the Shiroifurar range & obtaining a kind of authority however small that may be over the Naga tribes on that side, but the Raja should be made clearly to understand that such extension should be made known to the Political Agent who should as soon as practically proceed into hills so subjugated, attended by an officer of the Survey Department to map the country on the quarter inch scale. Thus Geography, Geology & Natural History would both have a fair chance of being added to, & being made made known we should thus by degrees gain a fair knowledge of the great drainage area of the Irrawady Basin.
text: Trap rock was first seen in situ at the first part of the ascent to Shiroifurar & the whole mountain mass is apparently on this rock. This trap is more like lava than any I have seen, much of it made up of large & small modular lumps of other greenstones in a green matrix. Tangal had brought up with him 2 or 3 head men from Ukrul, & it was very evident that one of them was their great informant regarding the country on the north. He was a very smart specimen of the Tangkol & had a bangle of brass on each arm weighing at least 3 lbs. In his ears were discs of wood about 1 and a half inch in diameter inlaid with red seeds & pieces of beetle wing. Another wore a fillet of plaited cane colored yellow & vermillion. Tangal Major is a very different man from Roma Sing & a very good specimen of a Munipuri. He is about [blank] years old & a fine strong hale man with silvery hair. (72) He is exceedingly sharp or I should rather say intelligent, & had he been educated would have made himself far better known. His knowledge of a map is quite wonderful & after being shewn the different places never forgets them. I was particularly struck with one remark he made on looking at my Plane Table & that portion near Imphal & I was surprised a man of his education should have made it, but it shewed the observation of the man. The Board is projected with the lines of longitude running diagonally & these not having been inked in have become very faint. Tangal thinking of course that like most maps the N & S was with the sides of the paper noticed that I had got as he thought a certain road in Imphal out of its true bearing or as he said it did not run NW as I had got it. Left the summit of Shiroifurar about 3 o/c having completed this NE corner of the main watershed very satisfactorily & got down to camp in about 1 and a half hours. Wood peckers are numerous in these open oak woods about the heads of Thobal & Ihang & I obtained this day a very pretty specimen which I hope may prove a new species of "Hypopicus".