The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: difficulty in persuading Nagas to supply troops with rice; Godwin-Austen advocates firm treatment; Nagas trading spears and earrings
medium: tours
person: Butler
date: 31.12.1872
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 31st Decr.
text: No rice. Sent havildar & 2 or 3 unarmed constables up into the village to see if they cd get any. They returned saying that the men had gone out to work & that the rice wd be forthcoming in evening. 7 bare seers, 14lbs, were brought, by way of being impertinent seeing that we number 100 all told & that a day's ration is 1 seer or 2lbs. Worked pretty hard all day at monthly [account] & wrote to Butler to let him know our position for if he does not come up & no rice comes in we must retire upon Simagooding. These Nagas have been allowed their independent ways too long and sd be shewn we do not mean to put up with them any longer, but the Govt do not allow their officers in charge of these frontier districts latitude enough. They sd have full power to act as they consider right. Now, as it is being men dependent on the service they fear responsibility & the probable loss of appointments if they act in any way contrary to the opinion of men in Calcutta who have generally little experience of such peoples as the Nagas. No rice again evening of the 31st, served out 1/2 a seer to the men all round which leaves with abt one day's supply. Several men coming into camp with spears & earrings for sale & I bought 4 or 5. Wrote to Butler & reported matters.