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 Kidimah; report of a murder by Khesomah; Sakhabomah ask for protection which is refused; lack of policy by Government to stop feuding
medium: tours
person: Vihutzamah clan/ Mozamah
location: Kidima (Kidimah) Sakhabomah Khesomah Mozamah Jotsomah Miphumah Themokedimah
date: 12.1.1873
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 12th January. Halted at Kidimah waiting for Austin.
text: In the evening some men of Sakhabomah came in and reported that the Khesomah men had just murdered one of their women and begged I would take them under my protection, assuring me that they were quite ready to pay me any revenue they could afford. On enquiring further into the matter, I discovered that it was only a few weeks ago that the Vihutzamah clan of Mozamah had made a raid on the Khezamah men and had killed 4 or 5 of them (the exact number seems uncertain) and as I have good reason to believe that the Sakhabomah men are great friends of the Mozamah men, I fancy this last murder is simply to avenge the former outrage, anyhow very shortly after I had declined to interfere in the matter, I heard that they had gone off to seek the aid of the Vihutzamah clan who of course will be only too delighted to have another excuse for walking into the unfortunate people of Khesomah, especially as it happens to be a village of no great size and thus murder will follow murder with sickening regularity until one or other of the two villages will be so crippled that it will have to buy its more powerful rival. By the way, it was only last night that I managed to discover that the Jotsomah men had lately been out on the war trail and had polished off several of the Miphumah men whom they had mistaken (!) for a party of Themokedimahs; and so the game goes on and will go on until we step in and put a stop to it, and I must confess our present policy is one that astonishes me; on the one side we rush in and spend thousands in a strange land in order to prevent an African Despot from indulging in the lucrative trade of selling his own people as slaves, and yet on the other, here close at hand in British Territory, we allow murder and rapine to stalk unchecked through the length and breadth of the land because we are loath to spend a few hundreds.