Travels and Adventures in the Province of Assam, During a Residence of Fourteen Years

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Smith, Elder, 1855 - Assam (India) - 268 pages
 

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Page 99 - ... cash were collected from them, and they are assessed for the future at one rupee a house, an arrangement which I understand finds great favour among the Ryots, as they hope their Rajahs will be content with Government commission, and relieve them from their former exactions. The sites of the Kookie villages are well chosen on the broadest parts of the highest ridges, with water near at hand, generally a small hill stream. Some of the chief villages contain as many as 200 houses, commodiously...
Page 154 - When they swear to keep the peace, or to perform any promise, they place the barrel of a gun or a spear between their teeth, signifying by this ceremony that, if they do not act up to their agreement, they are prepared to fall by either of the two weapons. Another simple but equally binding oath is, for two parties to take hold of the ends of a piece of spear-iron, and to have it cut into two pieces, leaving a bit in the hand of each party; but the most sacred oath, it is said, is for each party...
Page 145 - The warrior wears a collar round the neck, reaching- to the waist, made of goats'-hair, dyed red, intermixed with long flowing locks of hair of the persons he has killed, and ornamented with cowrie shells. No one is entitled to wear these insignia of honour, unless he has killed many of his enemies, and brought home their heads. No regular government can be expected to...
Page 154 - Their mode of taking oaths is singular. When they swear to keep the peace, or to perform any promise, they place the barrel of a gun or a spear between their teeth, signifying by this ceremony that, if they do not act up to their agreement, they are prepared to fall by either of the two weapons. Another simple but equally binding oath is, for two parties to take hold of the ends of a piece of...
Page 149 - They also use coloured platted cane leggings, carry the war sword, spear, shield, and choonga or tube for carrying panjies, sharp wooden spikes for sticking into the ground. They also attach to the top of the shield two pieces of wood in the shape of buffaloes' horns, with the locks of hair of human beings killed in action hanging from the centre. Before they set out on a war expedition all assemble together and decide on the village to be attacked, and the chief appointed to command, the party consults...
Page 97 - ... a dowry for her in the first instance to her parents, varying in amount according to the rank of the girl. They are also particularly modest and decent, each man living with his family in a separate house. The widows also live in houses of their own (in this respect like the Nagahs and Cacharies), built for them by the villagers.
Page 95 - raise only one crop, and then relinquish the land and cut down new forests of bamboo for the cultivation of the succeeding year.
Page 103 - Nagas, and having no idea of the effect of fire-arms, their opposition was most determined. They rolled down stones from the summit of the hills, threw spears and did their utmost by yelling and intimidation to obstruct the advance of the force, but all in vain, the village of...
Page 150 - Nagah can never give up his revenge; he must avenge the death of a relative in some way or other, either by stealth or surprise; kill one or two in return, and carry off their heads, panjying the road after their retreat to prevent their being pursued. When a respectable man dies in the village, the inhabitants do not quit it for three days, and keep the body in the house, after which they kill cows and pigs, and give a feast of rice and spirits to the whole community. The body...
Page 87 - ... the jungle. A tree is likewise planted, and a fowl sacrificed, which concludes the obsequies. Most indistinct notions are entertained in regard to religion. The Kookies certainly seem to believe in a future state of retribution and a plurality of gods or spirits, who, they affirm, have equal power. The principal deities worshipped are called Tevae and Sangron, to whom fowls, pigs, and spirituous liquor, are offered in sacrifice on all occasions of sickness, famine, or other affliction, which...

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