The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

part of original tour diary of Lt. R.G. Woodthorpe 1876

caption: More friendly reception at villages visited; brief description; decision always to pass through villages
medium: tours
person: Tulloch/ ColUchai
ethnicgroup: Sema
location: Keleki R. Keromichomi (Kerumechimi) Emilomi Letsami Sukomi (Sakomi) Kukiagami Mezemi
date: 29.2.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Tuesday 29th.
text: (Very heavy showers during night and morning. Fine from about 11 a.m. Road good all way. Camp good open level spot, and fine stream - Keleki. Height of Kerumechimi at 9 a.m. 80 houses 4260/4150 M = 4205. Min = 53o. Height of Emilomi at 12. 50 houses 4580/4450 M = 4515. Height of Letsami at 1 p.m. about 60 houses 4760/4600 M = 4680. ditto Sakomi at 5 p.m. 55 houses 3370/3350 M = 3360. ditto Keleki at 7 p.m. 2010/2050 M = 2030. ditto at 6 a.m. 2010/2050 M = 2030.)
text: Up very early loafing about. Nagas did not turn up till about 7.30 a.m. Then they came in with fowls etc. and promises to show us the road. I found our best way was as I thought, through Emilomi and Letsami to Sakomi. I at once gave the order to prepare for a march, and at the Colonel's request gave them an hour to get ready in. However at the last moment the native doctor and a couple of sepoys discovered that they were too ill to move and had to be carried so loads had to be readjusted. The native doctor had to walk to Sakomi where I got three Nagas to carry him down to the camp. In consequence of these delays, we did not get off till 10. We got a lot of rice about 2.5 maunds at Emilomi and Letsami. At the latter village we were nearly being taken off our route altogether by taking a new path to avoid their village, so we determined henceforth always to pass through the villages. Outside Letsami on either side of the path at one place were a few squared thin upright stones reminding Uchai of his native hills. We came up on Sakomi quite as a surprise, on the spur from Letsami as in our former maps we had it across the Keleki where Kukiagami stands. The men there were exceedingly friendly and brought out immense quantities of beer (freely watered) with which they came running gleefully after us for the sepoys. (51) We got a very nice level open space for the camp though we arrived rather late ie. 6 p.m.
text: All these Sema villages are prettily situated with clumps of well kept bamboo dispersed around them, and a good deal of open grassy land outside. The granaries are frequently outside the stockade in long lines and perfectly unprotected, as are Mezemi and those villages just on the watershed, the inhabitants of which I take to be the same as these.
text: The houses are small gable ended and the ridge slopes slightly to the rear. The front is either square or circular in which case it has a small roofing. The interior is divided into a front room in which the cows and other domestic animals reside apparently. The middle part contains the fireplace screened off with a half wall and filled up with shelves, beds etc. The rear is a small store room. / S.46741/
text: The fortifications are feeble and consist generally of a single or double tangled fence. It is not often that the villages are surrounded by a ditch and panjis are freely used.
text: The Semas themselves are a very dirty lot indeed. I have already described them in my report no 73-74 and I have seen nothing on further acquaintance to modify my views.