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: Munipuris turned out of Powi
medium: tours
person: Butler
location: Paowi (Powi) Paowi (Mezimi)
date: 31.3.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 31st March
text: The next day we marched back through Phunggum to Powi or Mezimi. Passing up to the former village I turned aside off the path to look at the curious & striking mass of rock that stands up out of the side of the hill under & to the south of the village. It turned out as I had anticipated to be of trap evidently an injected mass of that rock of much the same structure as that found on Shirofurar. Some portions too were conglomeritic angular & rounded pebbles of harder greenstones both green & pale colored imbedded in a green matrix. The northern face is perpendicular & evidently presents there its original form when injected against the plane of the strata it passed through. The sandstones seen in this neighbourhood have a decidedly crystalline structure (limestone occurred in detached masses about the village). It was a dull cloudy cool day & after breakfast at Phunggum we moved on & got into Powi about 3 o/c & took possession of the Munipuris huts. They had built very excellent ones for themselves near a capital spring of water, but for us 3 wretched huts on the other side of the village near two small dirty water holes where Butler found one Munipuri washing himself. This was all done to shew the Nagas we were nobody, but their unceremonious exit had quite a different effect & still greater was this shewn when they had the next day to evacuate & burn their thanna. There was some 20 maunds of rice stored in the place & this they burnt rather than give it to the Nagas of the place from whom & others they had taken it without payment. Thunder storms about & at 3.30 it came on to rain pretty heavily. Prowi or Powi, Mezimi of the Nagas & other Tangkol or Tankhun villages on this SE side should be retained by the Indian Govt if any modification of boundary to North of the watershed is ever contemplated. They would prove most useful in any after intercourse that may hereafter spring up between us & [73] Naga tribes on the Eastward. Only among the Tangkols would interpreters be found, handing the whole of the Lahupahs over to Munipur is tantamount to sealing up the greater part of the country to the East of the Lanier. (Yet again we must remember that there are very few officers who are fitted for the charge of such districts as these. In the hands of an exceedingly active, strong & energetic man all would go well & he would do much good, where others would do absolute harm by deputing natives to see to matters he should go & enquire into himself. Only a man ever on the move should receive such an appointment. The present Deputy Commissioner is just the man, but there are not many such in the ranks of the Assam Government.)
text: The Munipuris before marching out of Powi threatened the inhabitants with all kinds of future punishments, saying "the sahibs are here today but we are here always". It is curious to find a state who owe so much to us, really in heart so inimical. Their dislike to us is shewn in many ways & is so plain as the bearing of passing sepoys and others met on the road, when they study to pass by without the slightest recognition. The behaviour in the present boundary case is strong proof of their true feelings.