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: meeting with Kotzumah khel of Khonomah returning from an unsuccessful raid; advances guard threatened at Tapoumah
medium: tours
person: Kotzumah khel/ KhonomahBrown/ Dr
location: Inpomah Umpainee Phooeemah Barak R. Quetzo R. Tapoumah
date: 9.3.1870
person: Butler/ John
date: 5.1.1870-30.3.1870
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: [13] 9th March, Wednesday. Moved camp to-day to Inpomah or Umpainee distance about 10 miles over a rather bad road leading almost the whole way through forest and dense underwood. This village contains only 60 houses. About 3 miles from Beremah we passed close to the village of Phooeemah (said to contain about 100 houses). Just opposite and below this village the Burack is joined by an other large river called Quetzo by the Nagas and which I believe is the veritable Burak itself.
text: About half way between Phoeceemah and Tapamah we came suddenly and most unexpectedly upon a party of some 20 Nagas evidently either returning from or going to a foray (for there is no mistaking a Naga's intentions when decked out for war). I stopped and questioned them as to who they were and where they had been but they appeared to be very uneasy and first told me they were men of Mozemah and then that they belonged to Khonomah and had only been on a friendly visit to some of the Kutcha Naga villages, but when I pointed to their shields and 2 spears apiece and asked them whether they thought I was a child to believe such a story in face of every proof to the contrary, one fellow smiled and was going to tell me something when a man in rear called out "don't say anything be careful" and they then stuck to their former story which on reaching camp and making further enquiries, I learnt was the lie I had fully suspected. It was the fact being that they were men belonging to the Kotzumah Khel of Khonomah who had gone out to avenge an old feud but had not been successful. So much for the simple truth telling savages.
text: My advanced guard also very nearly fell out with the Nagas of Tapoumah who attempted to intimidate them by calling out that they would spear any man who entered the village, but on one of the constables (who can speak the Naga language fluently) calling out that they had better be careful of what they did or they would probably have the village burned about their ears, for although we had come as friends, it rested with them to make us enemies, they thought better of it and put away their spears and got quite friendly presenting me with a pig (as a sort of peace offering I suppose).
text: Dr. Brown has not come up to-day and I hear has encamped at Phoeemah so I suppose I must halt tomorrow to enable him to overtake me.