The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: letter from W.G. Archer to D.C. about the proposed transfer of the Konyaks to Tirap District
caption: inter-village warfare
medium: notes
person: BlahAdams
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching Mokokchung Kohima Longmien Totok Aopao Chi (Chui) Mon Sengha Kamahu Tangsa Tang Chen
date: 30.3.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 13:8
text: Office of the Subdivisional Officer, Mokokchung.
text: Memo. no. 3662G. dt. Mokokchung 30/3/1947.
text: D.C.
text: I have just returned from a ten days' tour in the Wakching area. The Konyaks had not heard of their proposed transfer to Tirap and when I explained that this might shortly take place, there was very great consternation. It appears that all Konyaks in the administered area are now accustomed to looking southwards to Mokokchung and Kohima. All their dealings with Government have been through Officers of these Stations, and they do not relish the sudden volte face which their transfer to Tirap will involve. Moreover although they are not as developed as their Southern neighbours, the Aos, they regard their country as being very much an integral part of the Naga Hills. And they feel that their own future as a tribe is inseparably linked with that of other Nagas in the district. If they are now placed under a separate administration, they will feel themselves cut off from all that they regard as Naga. I gathered also that none of our own Konyaks have any dealings with the Konyaks of Tirap and in fact they regard them as utter strangers. They had not even heard of Tirap and it seems more than possible that they are even quite separate tribes. You have already reported to Government that other Nagas in the district are upset by the proposed transfer and I think that if it is proceeded with, there will not only be agitation in the Mokokchung Subdivision but at Wakching also. I fully realise that an administrative reorganisation of our Konyak control area is much over-due but in view of the present, rather delicate circumstances and the great importance which is being attached to popular wishes, any abrupt transfer at this stage does not seem advisable. The Konyaks would much prefer a new Wakching Subdivision within the Naga Hills, and rather than lose a part of their area to Tirap they would favour a progressive expansion of the Naga Hills District.
text: II
text: If this is the situation in administered territory, that in the control area seems to require urgent attention. There are at present at least 8 inter-village wars in fairly active progress.
text: 1. Longmien-Totok.
text: Latent war had existed between these villages for some years and in 1946 Longmien ravaged some crops of Totok during a funerary visit. The fines imposed by Mr. Blah have been tendered but not accepted as Longmien proclaimed that they would regard the fines as merely liquidating the incident and not at all as liquidating the war. Totok are now awaiting a further move by Longmien and some heads are shortly expected.
text: 2. Aopao-Chui.
text: Aopao took a head from Chui in 1946 and the two villages are still at war. On 9th March 1947 a Chui morung sent 10 young warriors to earn their face-tattoo. They ambushed an Aopao man in Longmien territory while the latter was returning from the Spring Festival in the village. Since Aopao and Longmien exchange visits at the festival a certain amount of coming and going takes place at that time. Having shot the Aopao man the Chui party took his head but were intercepted by Longmien on the way back, and this led to sudden hostilities between.
text: 3. Longmien-Chui.
text: Longmien said that as they were at peace with Aopao and the head was taken on Longmien soil, Chui must give it back. Chui said they were at war with Aopao and declined to return it. A Longmien warrior then struck one of the Chui party with the butt end of a gun and the parleys at once turned into shooting. During the battle, all the Chui party were hit. One was shot between the eyes and died on the spot. Five others died on the way back while the remaining four reached the village, wounded but alive. Out of the six killed Longmien were only able to take the head of the man who was shot first. On their side Longmien had three men wounded but later in the day, Chui sent out a second party and succeeded in taking two heads from Longmien without any casualties themselves. Until this outbreak Chui and Longmien were on peaceful terms and in fact 6 girls of Chui are married in Longmien. Now that war has started, it is likely to continue, for Chui told me "We have lost six men. How can we leave Longmien now?"
text: 4. Chui-Totok.
text: Totok encroached on Chui's land in 1946 and were fined Rs. 200/- by Mr. Blah. They were ordered not to encroach again and did not do so. This year on 5th March Chui went into Totok's land and burnt 8 field houses. The next move is with Totok and Chui are awaiting it.
text: 5. Mon-Chen.
text: These are still in a state of latent war and Mon told me they would take a head from Chen in 1948, when the Ang's eldest son is married. At that time a new log-drum will be brought to the Ang's house and a fresh head will be necessary for offering to the drum.
text: 6. Sengha-Chen.
text: Sengha took 10 heads from Chen in 1945 and a further 4 in 1946. Chen took 1 from Sengha in 1945, 2 in 1946 and they have just taken another this March.
text: 7. Sengha-Tang.
text: Sengha took 6 heads from Tang in 1945 and lost one to them in 1946. No heads have so far been taken in 1947 but some are expected.
text: 8. Kamahu-Tangsa.
text: A boundary dispute was settled by Mr. Adams but Kamahu have not accepted his decision. They have stated that they will take some Tangsa heads if Tangsa does not let them have their way.