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: terrace cultivation; dung; labouring; slaves
medium: articles
ethnicgroup: Loohoopa
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: The system of cultivation amongst them is superior to that of the other tribes, being on terraces which are watered by streams issuing from the side of the hill above them. To manure these terraces all the dung of the village is carefully collected in a reservoir, through which the water being permitted to flow, the dung is distributed in the process of irrigation over all the land. The crops are abundant, but each man does not raise enough for himself, and those who are badly off, work for their more fortunate neighbours. Yearly parties of their poor come down to the Munnipore valley to dig ditches and tanks. These works they prefer doing on contract, and the energy with which they execute them is extraordinary. In the heat of the day they work stark naked, considering themselves with the ring on (they wear it as the Tankools do ) in nothing more than undress. However ill off they may be, none of them become slaves. To such a degree is the idea of slavery hateful to them, that on occasion of inability to release his children, who had been captured in resistance to the state, and sold as slaves, their father coming down from the hills, slew them both, and carried away with him their heads. Since then it has not been attempted to make any Loohoopas slaves.