The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: I. The trans-Dikhu tribes
caption: Naga Hills district
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Frontier Affairs
caption: Langsa; oath taking stone
medium: reports
person: Porteous/ MrDavis/ Mr
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Langsa Chami (Jami) Salachu
date: 1889
date: 1890
text: Langsa, the only Ao village outside the frontier of the settled district, has not been troubled again by Seromi since it was visited by Mr. Porteous on returning from the Mazung expedition. A peculiar case in which it was involved deserves notice. Two men of the village quarrelled and, to settle the matter, it was agreed that one of them should swear an oath on a stone held in great sanctity by the Aos, the site of which is near the Ao village of Jami. The stone is small and moveable and if taken away by any disputant, must be carefully replaced after the necessary oath has been taken. On this occasion the man who was to have sworn cried off at the last moment leaving the stone on the lands of the Ao village of Salachu. Salachu suffered shortly after this incident from a grievous plague of dysentery, which was put down to the non-replacement of the sacred stone, and messengers were twice sent to demand its replacement by the Langsa man in fault. This irritated the offender and he threatened to kill the Salachu spokesmen who however escaped and reported the matter at Mokokchang. With the permission of the Deputy-Commissioner, Mr. Davis visited Langsa and fined the man in fault pretty heavily. The fine not being paid promptly, Mr. Davis took 20 men to Langsa at night, seized the defaulter in his house and carried him off to Mokokchang, a very effective stroke, for the fine was at once paid and the sacred stone replaced without further delay.