The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter One. The Naga Hills
caption: quarrel at Sathazumi
medium: books
person: ThevoniMills/ J.P.
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Sathazumi
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: We spent that evening at the Sathazumi inspection bungalow nearly 6,000 feet above sea level. The sunlight lay golden on the (12) dark wooded ridges, and white fluffy clouds whipped by a stiff breeze, lapped against the steep slopes of the mountains. The valleys were wrapped in deep violet.
text: But we were not to be allowed to give ourselves up to the peaceful atmosphere of this beautiful evening. Scarcely had we arrived in the bungalow when a tremendous noise arose. There were several cases to be brought before Mills, and the quarrelling parties had each brought hordes of clansmen and friends to support them. This support the clansmen and the friends thought best to render in loud altercations and expressions of opinion. The cork was out of the bottle, and all the anger that had been suppressed for months seemed to explode at the long expected visit of the "Great Sahib".
text: Thevoni and another interpreter, acting as examining magistrates, had the cases explained to them beforehand, but it was as much as they could do to keep the quarrelling parties in hand and to claim their shouts and those of their followers. Most of the quarrels were about land or the succession to property or the claims of a betrayed husband, suing the seducer of his wife, or the damage that one man's cattle had done to another man's crops. Very patiently Mills worked through the tangle of accusations and defence, and finally passed judgement. But even then the excited harangues still continued outside the bungalow, and every moment I expected the different sides would come to blows.