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: to Nanu then Yaru; hostility; description of dress and weapons
medium: tours
person: Tulloch
location: Nanu Wanching (Tablung) Longtang (Lungtum) Yaru
date: 16.3.1876-17.3.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 39. On the 16th, Colonel Tulloch, with Mr. Hinde and the camp, passing through Nanu, went on to the stream beyond again. Mr. Ogle and I took a more circuitous route, and joined them in the evening. The men of Nanu received us very civilly. I hardly know to what tribe to ascribe the Nagas we were then among: very slight differences in dress or architecture mark the various villages, but they all seem to belong to one race, and have many points in common with the tribes in the so-called Eastern Naga Hills. We were here quite beyond interpretation, and continued so till we reached Tablung again. The continual warfare which is kept up between all these villages prevented our bringing on men from Longsa and Changyemdi (the last Assamese-speaking villages along that route) further than Chimomi, because, as we were not returning that way, we could give them no safe-conduct back again to their villages. On the 17th March, passing through Lungtum, we arrived about 12 before Yaru. We had heard the war-drums sounding for some time as we climbed the hill, and as we neared the village we saw a large number assembled on an open plateau, who, as soon as they saw us, at once set up their war-cry and began to dance about up and down the path, flashing their daos and flourishing their spears. According to our custom, we advanced steadily, and, according to theirs, they as steadily retreated into the village, closing their gates. Colonel Tulloch took some of his men round under the village to the further end, unperceived by the Nagas. We effected an entrance on our side without opposition, the Nagas falling back, till they found they were cut off by the other party, when they halted, and we were soon all most excellent friends; they laid down their weapons, and some of them resumed their household occupations. The Nagas here and on the Yangmun are finer men than the other non-kilted tribes, and have a much more pleasing and honest expression. Their spears are decorated both after the Hatigoria and also the Ninu pattern, but their daos are peculiar, the blades being from twelve to fifteen inches long, about one-and-a-half inches broad at the handle, and widening to four inches at the other end; the handles are also long. These daos are also found at Yanghum, Afang, and neighbouring villages. Their shields are either of leather, oblong, decorated with red hair, or of bamboo matting. It will be unnecessary to refer to the arms of the other Nagas, as they are the same for all these tribes, the daos being of the ordinary Ninu type described so often. The granaries in these villages are within the stockade, and sometimes mixed up with the houses; they are large substantial buildings, raised about four feet from the ground, the posts being furnished with large wooden discs, on which the beams of the floor rest, similar to the arrangement in many of the Garo granaries.