The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

printed - tour diary of the Deputy Commissioner of the Naga Hills for the year 1870-1872 (John Butler) volume two

caption: description of Themoketsama; attempts to prevent Butler from going further into Rengma country to Tesephemah; description of Tesephemah; names of further villages on the left bank of the Doyang river
medium: tours
person: Katohuma clan/ ThemoketsamaLuchoma clan/ ThemoketsamaKezaina clan/ ThemoketsamaSadima clan/ ThemoketsamaIuchuma clan/ ThemoketsamaChopuma clan/ ThemoketsamaRosinuma clan/ Themoketsama
ethnicgroup: RengmaKhevimaLhota
location: Therugunyu (Themoketsama) Tesophenyu (Tesephema) Phuma Nirhimah Sonarigaon
date: 5.3.1872
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 5th March, Tuesday. As we got into camp rather late yesterday, I decided upon halting here to-day so as to have a good look round at the country. In the morning I was occupied in counting the houses which I found to be 524, divided into the following clans:-
text: Total number of houses in Themokedima = 524.
text: In the afternoon, we went off and visited Jesephema, [sic] another large Rengma village about 3 miles off, containing I should think at least 500 old houses. Before going further I ought to record here for the benefit of future explorers that these Rengma are the most inveterate liars I ever came across. To-day, when anxious to obtain a guide to show me the way to Tesephemah, they all absolutely declared that the most bitter war was being there waged between the two villages and no Themokedima men dare go to Tesephama or vice versa, and besides that they assured me that the Tesephemah men had taken an oath to kill any Saheb that went near them and most solemnly warned me against going. In reply to which I said "very well, as you won't show me the way I must find it for myself, for although a Naga may turn back when there is danger ahead, no Saheb can do so. And I then called out for constables and accompanied by my brother, who by the way has been with me throughout my tour, started for Tesephemah. But we had scarcely reached the valley between the two villages when we were joined by two of the Themokedima men who then confessed that all they had told me was only a big lie from beginning to end. So much for the "simple truth telling savage."
text: The view from Tesephamah showed the country to be as fine towards the north as it is towards the south, and we saw numerous villages in every direction. A Khevima or Lhota Naga of Phuma who happened to be in the village at the time informed me that Golaghat was only about 6 easy marches from this and pointed out the direction of Nirhimah (lying away to the north-west) which was the village that had polished off the Tengimah Naga on the road near Borpathar, so Nirhimah is probably the Naga name for Sonarigaon which latter name is not recognized here at all; in fact I could not get them to recognize any of the Lhota Naga names as given in the maps. We walked all over the village and then returned to camp. In the evening I had a long talk with the Themokedima men regarding the country to the north and after some difficulty, managed to get out of them the names of the following villages, all said to be situated on the left bank of the Doyang:-
text: (1) Themoketsama, Themokedima, Khelibazama, Tesephema, Kotsama Insema and Kokhahama of the Mazama (Injongnieu or Rengma) Naga tribe.
text: (2) Kitama, Chesuema, Lozma, Tirophema and Chenema of the Sema Tribe.
text: (3) Phurma Paketoma, Machachoma, Zerloma Khumatsarenomah, Khubama of the Kevimah (or Lhota) Naga Tribe - eighteen villages in all, and I am glad to say having brought a prismatic compass with me, I have been enabled to mark down on the map the relative positions of 15 out of that number. I should have liked very much to have gone on towards the north and have thus thoroughly explored the very small tract of hills that now intervenes between us and the plains, but unfortunately I have agreed to meet the Political Agent of Manipur at Khonomah about the middle of this month and I must therefore be turning back or I shall not be in time, and taking into consideration the lateness of the season, it is perhaps just as well that I should do so, and I have therefore decided to march to Tophemah to the great delight of my Tengimah coolies, who have been very uneasy for the last day or two. It is extraordinary what a dread each tribe here has of its neighbours.