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: attack by Nagas; visit to Tobu; gift of goats and dogs; 'soup-plate' rim necklets
medium: tours
person: HindeOgleTulloch
location: Ukha (Okha) Tobu
date: 21.3.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 41. On the 21st, as we were starting, we saw large bodies of armed Nagas collected on all points commanding a view of our camp and road, but nothing occurred till we approached the village, after an ascent of 3,000 feet, when our flankers came across some men in ambush, who at once attached them, wounding one man in the foot. A few shots speedily dispersed them, and, though they attempted a stand at one or two points along the road, they were of course unable to stop us, and we entered the village and encamped on the further side near the village wells. Being out of interpretation, we were unwilling to punish the Nagas heavily for their attack, beyond helping ourselves to some of their live stock, etc., and, as I was anxious to visit Tobu, a village eight miles south of Okha, we kept the camp standing next day, orders being issued that no one was to be allowed to go into the village, in order not to frighten any Nagas who might be willing to come in. Messrs. Hinde and Ogle accompanied me to Tobu, a rather trying walk, involving a very steep descent of 2,300 feet to the stream below and an equally precipitous ascent of 3,300 feet to the top of the Tobu spur. About three miles from the village we saw the Nagas collected watching us, and as we went on we found three goats and the same number of dogs tied up on either side of the path, green boughs being stuck in the ground near; the whole arrangement being, as we had discovered last year, indicative of a wish to open negotiations. We untied the dogs, taking one with us as a sign that we also wished for peace, and went into the village, where we were very civilly received. We did some work on the other side, the whole of the male population looking on. One or two old men pointed out villages to us, giving their names. They were especially pressing that we should go against a village just opposite, with which they were at war, telling us by signs that if we would go first and "pung, pung, pung!" as they expressed the noise of firing, they would come on behind and secure the heads of those we killed or wounded. One of the villagers had suspended on his chest a piece of the rim of an old stoneware soup-plate - I should have been very glad to find out how he had come by it. They wished us to take some more goats and dogs, but we declined them, and left. Working by the way, we got back to camp by the evening. A cruel fate overtook us after the labours of the day; for a very heavy thunder-storm, which had been long threatening, burst over us just after we had commenced our dinner, and, breaking through the roof of the hut, swamped it and our dinner, and we had to beat a hasty retreat to bed. Colonel Tulloch told me that men from Chamba and Yangtang had been in with presents, also some of the Okha and Yakchung men.