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: whole fine paid by Vihutzumah clan after a day's meeting
medium: tours
person: RhitzoRichaleNiphooNidoo
location: Sopoomah Merhamah Mozemah
date: 3.12.1872
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 3rd December, 1872. I am extremely glad to say the whole of the fine (Rs.l20) has been duly paid up this evening after a tremendous amount of palaver at which both my temper and patience were tried not a little. However I have carried the day. The meeting lasted from about ll a.m. until nearly dark and I had to listen to speech after speech and precious cheeky ones some of them were, however I managed to smoke on in grave silence until such chief had had his full swing when I replied to each one's speech in turn.
text: At first they wanted me to accept Rs.60 and cry quits, they then offered Rs.80 at which sum they held out for a very long time they then said they would pay up Rs.100 if I would give them some muskets to enable them to "smash up" Sopoomah and Merhamah. Then one fellow got up and said that if I would not take the Rs.100 they would pay me nothing for they would sooner fight it out than pay more whatever might be the consequence. However finding that I was still unshaken and that their threats had not the slightest effect upon me they finally cooled down and paid up the whole Rs.l20 telling me that I must not be angry with them nor keep "wrath in my stomach" any longer as they would always obey my orders and in order to show them that I no longer kept any "wrath in my stomach" I told the three leading chiefs Rhitzo, Richali and Niphoo that if they come to see me tomorrow morning I would have another talk with them and would show them that I was still their friend and that it had given me much pain to have to fine and punish them as I had done but that if they allowed their men to commit crime they must expect to be punished, etc..
text: I was rather amused at Nidoo (the fellow who escaped) coming in to my hut this evening and presenting me with a fowl. He assured me he would never take anything again and that he looked upon me as his father and had come in to ask my forgiveness as a son - a pardon which of course I freely gave him - after which he suddenly said "Oh I have still got the two iron rings with which you tied me up at Samaguting and want to give them to you back again" and off he ran and brought back the two bits of the irons the rivets of which he had managed to undo when he made his escape. Poor fellow he vows he never had any idea of committing a crime when he left his own village and says he only took the things because the fellows ran away, however he says he knows that it was wrong of him to have done so and he will take care never to do so again so I hope this little affair has been a lesson to one man at all events.