The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Account of the valley of Munnipore and of the Hill Tribes' by Major W. McCulloch

caption: land ownership; rice cultivation; fallow land; yams;
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Koupooee
location: Nongba
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: But to return to the Koupooees, the mountain-land around the village, within certain fixed bounds, is usually the property of the village. This they cultivate with rice in elevations suited to it, and with other crops in situations unfitted for that species of grain. The spot cultivated this year, is not again cultivated for the next ten years; it having been found that that space of time is required for the formation of a cultivable soil by the decay of the vegetable matter that again springs upon it. The chief crop is rice, but the produce is very (45) uncertain, both from the vicissitudes of weather, and the differing richness of the soil, which they must of necessity cultivate in their ten years' rotation. As, for instance, is the case with Nongba, when by rotation their cultivation falls upon the South side of the village, they reap but little, and support themselves principally that year, on wild yams. This root, a beneficent Providence has so diffused throughout these mountains, that no native of them able to dig them up, can starve.