The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - 'Report of the Survey Operations in the Naga Hills 1875-1876' by Lt. R.G. Woodthorpe

caption: fear of hostilities
medium: tours
location: Kamahu Wanching (Tablung)
date: 12.2.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 25. About 10 a.m., as the weather was clearing up, I went up to mark again, and did all my work there by 4 p.m. Since 2 p.m., I had heard the drums in the village sounding, and on arriving in camp I found everyone on the qui vive, and Colonel Tulloch told me that the whole village was under arms, and he feared an attack. This being the case, the only thing to be done was to go up again at once, and try and persuade them to keep the peace. Arrived inside the gate, we saw some men who had come with us from Tablung, who said these villagers had had a quarrel with the other village, as the latter had given us no supplies. However, I doubted this, as the attitude of the Nagas on all sides was anything but friendly towards us, a large number being collected in the morang with spears and shields, their crossbows being bent and levelled at us; others came careering towards us down the narrow streets between the houses. We sent the Tablungias up several times to the morang; and, after much yelling on both sides for a quarter of an hour, during every minute of which I expected we should be forced into hostilities, the Nagas at length, to our great relief, quieted down. Crowded together as they were in the verandah of the morang and the small open space in front, knowing nothing apparently of the power of fire-arms, we shuddered to think of the loss they would have suffered had they provoke us to fire on them. We returned to camp, having impressed upon them that any further hostile demonstration would be dealt with promptly, and without parley. We heard a little excited talk during the evening at intervals, but it ceased before 10 o'clock, and after that all was perfectly quiet.