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: halt at Mozemah; rifle practice; request that Butler live at Mozemah; willing to pay revenue; Butler puts off making an answer by saying that he must refer to a higher authority; Mozemah clans
medium: tours
person: Rhitzo/ of MozemahRuphetchumato clan/ MozemahBihutchumah clan/ MozemahNisonomah clan/ Mozemah
location: Mozemah
date: 18.3.1872
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 18th March, Monday. Halted at Mozemah. We went out for a stroll in the morning and astonished our Naga friends with rifle practice made by the Henry-Westley Richards C.F. Breech Loader I had brought out with me. By the way, apropos of Breech loaders, I wonder when our little force is going to be furnished with them?
text: In the afternoon I received a message that all the Chiefs had assembled and were anxious to come and talk to me on the "very important subject" they had alluded to yesterday, and begged I would give them a private audience.
text: Having granted their request, old Rhitzo opened the question by a long speech and was followed up by several others. However I won't attempt to reproduce all that was said during a conference which lasted something like 2 hours, the long and short of which was briefly this. That the Mozemah men wished I would come up and fix my abode at their village. that they had formerly sworn fealty to the father, and they now wished to do the same to the son - the old Butler Sahab had been a very kind Apu (father) to them and his son had been the same.
text: That they wished to see Mozemah at the head of all the Naga villages as it always had been and that they therefore hoped I would fix the station there at once. That they would give me any plot of ground in the village I might take a fancy to, but that as terrace land was very dear at Mozemah, they hoped I would pay at the usual rates for any land that I might wish to take up for roads. That they were all quite willing and ready to pay me revenue whenever I chose to take it provided I would not take more than one rupee from each man, as although they could afford to pay one rupee and would do so cheerfully, they could not afford to pay two, etc. etc. "ad infinitum".
text: To all of which I had to make a very politic reply expressing my extreme pleasure etc. and avoiding as far as possible any definite reply to the real question as to whether I would accept their offer or not, so as to leave the road open for us to act hereafter as may appear best.
text: Of course I could not have accepted their offers without reference to higher authority and on the other hand had I refused, I should have closed the door for ever, so I informed them that although I was a great man and supreme(?) in the Naga Hills, still that in common with all other Sahebs, I obeyed the great "Mahalani" and I was therefore unable to decide so important a question without further consultation, etc., and so the matter ended. I may here add that I am aware Mozema is not the only large village in these Hills that is apparently quite ripe to be taken over and as for the smaller villages, they are all quite ready to do as ordered, but iron must be hit when it is hot and so with the Nagas. It will be difficult to recall the opportunity once it slips.
text: Mozemah contains 266 houses divided as follows:-