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 C.R. Pawsey accompanying his tour diary giving account of the Pangre-Tsupure column
medium: lettersnotes
person: Motilal ThapaBindraman RoyChoho-hu SemaKorachu
location: Pangre Tsupure Zungki R. Patkoi Range Choklalu R. Nantaleik R. (Tizu R.) Lothure Puphure Lungzongre Melangchure Thuru Mutongre Chiliso
date: 13.6.1947
person: Pawsey/ C.R.Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 13:20
text: Office of the Deputy Commissioner Naga Hills.
text: Memo no. 2887G dated Kohima the 13th June 1947
text: From: C.R. Pawsey, Esqr. CSI., CIE., MC., ICS., Deputy Commissioner, Naga Hills.
text: To: The Adviser to the Government of Assam, Shillong.
text: Sir,
text: I have the honour to submit herewith tour diary giving account of the Pangre-Tsupure column.
text: The reasons leading up to this column are as follows. The attached diagram will explain things.
text: The area concerned is that bounded on the west by Zungki River.
text: East - Patkoi Range (Burma border)
text: North - Choklalu River.
text: South - Tizu River.
text: Between the Zungki River and the Patkoi Range there are two irregular lines of villages and they are shown on the diagram attached. The western line are safe but trembling and amuse themselves with minor wars more or less in the nature of riots for land or salt wells and not on an internecine scale. The eastern line live in a state of nervous apprehension. Nor are their fears unwarranted.
text: Lothure, Puphure and Lungzongre villages have been liquidated in the past two or three years and the immediate cause of this column was the decapitation of 59 members of Melangchure village (see diagram) and the dispersal of the survivors. It is obvious from the diagram that a similar fate would speedily have overtaken the four survivors of the eastern line had nothing been done to check the depredations of the bold bad head hunters who live between the Choklalu River and the Patkoi Range. North East of where both river and the range bend northwards.
text: Pangre, Tsupure and Thuru are three of the villages concerned and there are possibly others still further to the north-east.
text: We camped at Pangre, looted and burnt that village very thoroughly after it had been cleared by long range Bren gun fire and rifle grenades. The village was full of armed men ready to resist when we got there. Probably a few got hit.
text: Two sections burnt Tsupure (I did not go there myself). This village, too, had to be cleared before it was burnt.
text: Probably about ten hostile Nagas were killed altogether, two or three when Pangre was cleared, about six when a party guarding the path to Tsupure were encountered and one sentry at Tsupure village.
text: It is always difficult to know how much punishment to inflict. We were followed by a great host of armed Nagas out for the blood of their oppressors. I sent them all home with great difficulty after one days looting as they were intent on mopping up any refugee they could find and would not have spared women and children. The following day Mutongre appeared and insisted on looting in spite of warning shots. They lost one boy, beheaded by Pangre, who wandered too far on his own, for which they got no sympathy, but such an incident shows how essential it is that in head hunting country every precaution is essential.
text: Pangre and Tsupure both had many heads but by no means all those lost hung on to long bamboos but most unfortunately we had to leave them unburied as every one refused to touch them, even the relatives who came to lament the fate of their dear ones.
text: I hope but am by no means sure that these villages have been sufficiently punished to make head hunting unpopular for some time. Nobody knew how far away was Thuru, the other village definately concerned. It may be possible to find out in the coming autumn tour. There was no evidence that villages west of the Chokla-lu River joined in these raids. Chiliso in fact had been dispersed and Pangre were proposing to occupy the village site and land.
text: As regards weapons. No modern rifles were used against us. There are certainly a few Chinese rifles in the area, as cartridge cases have been produced. Weather conditions made things very uncomfortable. First it was very hot and then there was a lot of rain. (Incidentally none of our tents have yet been replaced.) Some of the marches were very hard going owing to the depth of the valleys.
text: The eastern villages on the lower Patkoi slopes are capable of development. There are perennial streams rising in the Patkoi, excellent flat land near streams for irrigated rice fields, very good soil, pine forests, salt near the Zungki and the area is famous for its blacksmiths. Many of the houses have slate roofs.
text: The Assam Rifles - all of them and especially the two Gurkha Officers, Subadar Motilal Thapa and Subadar Bindraman Roy, I.O.M. could not have been more efficient. We had twenty Naga Scouts mainly trans-frontier Semas who were quicker and quieter in the jungle than their opponents and about 180 permanent carriers in the trans-Zungki area. All rice had to be carried as only job's tears and millet are produced locally. There was little or no sickness. The toughness of these carriers is extraordinary. Of the interpreters all did well especially Choho-hu Sema and Korachu. An excellent semi-permanent bridge over the Zungki River has been made by transporting the material of an old army suspension bridge from the Nichuguard area.
text: Statement of accounts will follow as soon as possible.
text: Your obedient servant,
text: sd. C.R. Pawsey.
text: (Copy with a copy of the diagram and tour diary to:
text: 1. The Commissioner of Dvns., Gauhati.
text: 2. The Secretary to the Governor of Assam, Shillong.
text: 3. The Commandant, 3rd Assam Rifles, Kohima.
text: 4. The Inspector General of Police, Shillong.
text: 5. The Addl. Deputy Commissioner, Mokokchung. )
text: SKETCH