The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

printed - Tour Diary of the Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills 1870 (John Butler) volume one

caption: to Mezephemah; request for protection from Mozema, Khonomah and Koheema; instructions to Butler not to interfere in Naga feuds; desire of neighbouring villages for protection; civilizing effects of paying tax
medium: tours
location: Samoogooting Mezephemah Diphoo R. Jaintia R. Mezema (Mozema) Khonomah Koheema
date: 7.2.1870
person: Butler/ John
date: 5.1.1870-30.3.1870
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 7th February, Monday. Left Samoogooting this morning at ll a.m. and reached Mezephemah about 4 p.m. distance about 8 miles. the first 2 1/2 miles to the Diphoopanee was down a very stiff descent. We then crossed the Diphoo at a spot where the Jaintia joins it and following up the bed of that stream for about 3 miles turned off to our left and ascended the ridge on which Mezeephamah is situated an easy ascent for about 3 miles bringing us into the village. The Penmahs or chiefs came out to meet me as far as the Jumta and our reception at the village was most cordial. The villagers appear most anxious to be taken under our protection and hoped I would not allow the Mozema Khonomah or Koheema Nagas to attack and plunder them as they had often done before this of course, in face of the late instructions I had received "religiously to abstain" from interference in the intestive feuds of the Nagas I was unable to promise much as I should have personally wished to have done so, I therefore informed them that if they continued to behave themselves as well for the future as they had for the past 2 years I had no doubt but that they would be permitted to share in the blessings of a good Government such as the Samoogootingeeahs enjoyed. The fact is that all the neighbouring villages are very anxious indeed to come under our protection and although they wont voluntarily come forward and pay in their revenue yet I feel assured we have only to give the order and the revenue would be paid in without the least opposition and I know of nothing which has so great an influence or which acts so quickly in civilizing barbarous savages as the infliction (or rather blessing I should say) of a fair and moderate taxation.
text: In the evening I walked through the village and found it to contain 74 houses and defences are slight and the approaches easy.