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: village sites; houses
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: KookieKhongjai
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: In their own hills, the different tribes appear to have kept quite separate. Some of their villages seem to have been of considerable (58) size, but most of them to have contained only a few houses. Originally they were not migratory, but have assumed this character latterly. Since their expulsion from their own hills, the different tribes have become mixed up together in villages situated in positions selected with reference to convenience of cultivation; but with little regard to healthiness. A village having around it plenty of land suited for cultivation, and a popular chief is sure soon by accessions from less favoured ones to become large, but that its inhabitants will remain in it is uncertain, for the ties by which they were held together in their native hills, have been so rudely broken, that they have scarcely existence, and any which may lead them to another village. Their villages are very different from those of the Koupooees and Quoirengs, they have not the permanent look, nor are the houses so large or so substantially built. The Khongjais prefer woody spots for their village sites, and their style of house is adopted to such a situation, but, decidedly unadapted to more exposed positions. Their houses are usually small, all of them are gable ended, and have raised floors, which, and the walls are made of bamboo matting. Their Raja's house is generally larger than that of any of the others, and has, if possible in front of it, a spaced level ground. It is surrounded by a stockade, and every other house in the village has a fence of some kind round it. The houses appear to be placed higgledy-piggledy, but in this apparent confusion there is really some order.