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: Dr Brown takes photographs; Butler attempts to adjudicate between warring khels of Jotsomah fail; unwillingness of all Nagas to give up blood feuds; superficial effects of civilization
medium: tours
person: Brown/ DrTholomah khel/ JotsomahChokrenomah khel/ Jotsomah
ethnicgroup: Tengeemah
date: 19.2.1870
person: Butler/ John
date: 5.1.1870-30.3.1870
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 19th February, Saturday. Still halted waiting for the arrival of the Survey Party regarding whom neither Dr. Brown nor I have received any news.
text: In the course of the day Dr. Brown took several very interesting photographs including some female figures showing the peculiar habit of shaving the head previous to marriage.
text: In the afternoon I received a deputation from the Tholomah Khel of Jotsomah and one of the Chokrenomah khel of the same village being in camp with me I endeavoured to obtain a reconciliation between these rival clans but all in vain and after a very [] conference consisting chiefly of mutual recrimination I was obliged to bring the meeting to a close leaving things in "statu quo" but more convinced than ever that those who believe the Angamies as a race are gradually being weaned from war and rapine and are learning to appreciate the benefits of peace and concord anxious to rank themselves on the side of order are much mistaken, the truth being that as a body these Tengeemahs are today the same wild lawless savage blood thirsty set they were yesterday and 40 years ago. Of the fact that there is a party and a very strong party too who are anxious for peace and a settled form of government strong enough to protect the weak there can be no doubt. But even the peace party are ashamed (as many of them have confessed to me) voluntarily as it were to relinquish that accursed law of blood for blood were they compelled to relinquish it that would be quite another thing for according to [10] a Naga's rights there is nothing shameful in having to obey the orders emanating from one whom he confesses to be more powerful than himself. There are many men scattered through the different villages who have lived some three, some 5, years at Nowgong, at Gowhatty and at Assaloo who have there learned to speak and even to read and write Assamese and might hence be supposed to have become more or less civilized but even these men are so imbued and impregnated with their ancient traditions and superstitions and the old haven is so rampant in them that it is with difficulty that one can recognize the very superficial and only skin deep difference that exist between them and those of their brethren who have never left their own hill sides. "Scratch the Naga and you will find the Naga."