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: to Kohima via Chakronopoma; Chedemah village burnt by a Viswema man; plight of villagers; visit to Rekronhmah
medium: tours
person: Methoditzema clan/ RekronomahChevama clan/ RekronomahThevoma clan/ RekronomahThevokritzuma clan/ RekronomahJahele
location: Kohima Dzula R. (Zulla R.) Chakronopoma Chedemah Rekronomah Viswema Kigwema
date: 12.3.1872
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 12th March, Tuesday. Moved camp to Kohima. We have had a long tramp today having gone out of our way to visit several villages that lay off the direct road.
text: After leaving Sakhapoma, we descended for about a mile down to the Zulla and crossing it a stiff ascent for about 2 miles more brought us into Chakronopoma, a small village containing only 34 houses. After staying a few minutes in the village, we went on to Chedemah, a distance of about 4 miles up a moderately gentle ascent. At Chedemah we halted for an hour and had breakfast. Ten days ago this village contained 104 houses, but 70 of them are now lying in ruins having all been burnt to the ground, they say, by a man of Viswema now living in Kigwema. Whilst at the village, a heavy shower of rain came down and we found it very difficult to get a little temporary shelter, and I noticed that the unfortunate villagers whose houses had been utterly destroyed were in a most miserable plight, some of them were absolutely living with nothing but a few green boughs overhead, scarcely any protection at all. Poor fellows, they appeared very downhearted about it, however I observed that they were all busy collecting the materials for rebuilding their houses, so I fancy they will very soon be under cover again. Their chief loss appears to have been grain which of course was entirely consumed by the fire. From Chidema we sent our escort and baggage on direct to Kohima, while we ourselves went off north to pay a visit to Rekhromah, a village about 5 miles from Chidemah over a capital road. Rekhromah is a long straggling but well situated village, said to have been formerly one of the largest and most prosperous in these hills, but owing to continued war with the Kohima men who are stated to have eventually broken up the village, it is now very much reduced. I took the opportunity of counting the houses and found 192, divided into the following clans:-
text: After leaving Rekhromah we had another 7 miles walk which at last brought us into camp at Kohima. Altogether we have had a good tramp today for I think the distance gone over is certainly not less than 19 miles. However we are none of us the least bit tired or feeling knocked up in any way; the fact is that in a country and in a climate such as we are in now one can be on the tramp all day and be all the better for it. A propos of which it is perhaps worth recording that with the exception of a single sickly Madrasee servant of mine who got an attack of fever at Setekumah and has had several relapses, and the unfortunate constable who got wounded with a Panjee, not another soul has been sick or sorry ever since we left Samaguting, and yet we have had over 30 men in camp the whole time, not counting the coolies. Jahele and the late Khipur's old father paid me a visit in the evening and asked me to pay back the amount they had been robbed of by the Lhota Nagas and I was very sorry indeed I was unable to do so. However I consoled them as best I could and told them I hoped that they would get it all right in the end.