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 Songlu; village reprimanded for having cut down two trees; counting Songlu
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: Kuki
location: Songlu
date: 29.3.1872
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 29th March, Friday. Marched to-day into Songlu, distance about 16 miles, the first portion of the road up to the point where it turned off towards Jotsamah was very fair indeed, but after that it could scarcely have been worse.
text: Having noticed that someone had cut down two magnificent Borgaches (Ficus Elastica) close to the village, I enquired from the Housha who had been guilty of such wanton destruction and was told that some of the Kukies of his village had done it in order to obtain the sap (India rubber). I then informed him that I was excessively angry at his having permitted it, and should I ever hear of such a thing being done again, I should hold him responsible and punish him with a severe fine which would far exceed the value of any Indian rubber he might be able to extract. He then expressed his sorrow at having incurred my displeasure and said he had no idea he was doing anything wrong by cutting down a tree; that he would take care that it did not occur again, shortly after which he presented me with a small Elephant's Tusk and hoped I would think no more about it, so then I related the fable of what occurred when another savage killed the goose that gave "golden eggs", on hearing which he appeared to be much edified and went away I think with the idea that perhaps after all it would not pay to cut down Borgaches. Songlu contains 45 houses and on taking a census which I did this evening, I found the population to be as follows: