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: discussion with Major Austin about the Manipur - Naga Hills border survey; to Tehamah; tea trees and reluctance of Nagas to gather seeds in case rice crop affected
medium: tours
person: Godwin Austin/ MajorOgle
location: Poplongmai Tehamah Zupoo Samaguting Nidzukhon Mt. Japvo Mt. (Japoo Mt.)
date: 24.12.1872-27.12.1872
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 27th December. Major Godwin Austin and the Survey Party having arrived at Samaguting on the 24th instant, we very fully and carefully discussed the question of demarcating (Note: Agreeably to the orders conveyed to me in the correspondence ending with Government of Bengal letter No.4568, dated the 31st July 1872) and mapping out the boundary between Assam and Manipur, and decided that our best plan would be for Major Austin and Mr. Ogle to proceed first to Kohimah from whence the latter could [24] go on to take up a trigonometrical station at Nidzukhon (a mountain near Chichamah) whilst the former went on to Kigwemah and took up another station on Japoo. In the meantime I march to Poplongmai (or Kenomah) and after meeting the Political Agent of Manipur there, as previously arranged, go on to Kidimah where we shall all meet again and commence to take up the new boundary from the sources of the Zupoo.
text: A long hot and disagreeable march over a bad road brought us into Tehamah just at sunset. On our way we passed through longer quantities of tea and happening to ask one of the Nagas accompanying me why they did not pick and bring in the tea seed for sale in much larger quantities than they did, I was told that many of them had a superstitious belief that it was very unlucky to pick tea seed, as to do so would assuredly have the effect of lessening their rice crop. The whole of the country lying along the valley of the Khuki in the neighbourhood of the old site of Razephemah is covered with the indigenous tea tree and when I first saw the plants some 3 years ago I was much astonished at the size to which some of the trees grow, so different to what one is accustomed to see in tea gardens. In many instances I found the Nagas had cut down the trees in order to obtain the seed.