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: suitability of Wokha as a station; Deka Haimong offer to become British subjects and pay house tax
medium: tours
person: ButlerLa Touche
location: Wokha Molungyimchen (Deka Haimong)
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 57. With respect to the question of the suitability of Wokha for a station, I think it by far the best site, all things considered, that could be chosen, and its position renders it exceedingly eligible for a head-quarters station, whence the Angamis on the one hand, and the Eastern Nagas on the other, can easily be reached. Wokha is close to Golaghat, and has a good elevation, the site for the station would average 4,800 feet (i.e. about the same height as the station at Shillong), the hill above rising to 6,600 feet above sea-level. Captains Butler and La Touche reported fully last year, I believe, as to its capabilities, and it will not therefore be necessary to recapitulate them here. In Mr. Hinde's report (Appendix C, paragraph 10) he mentions the fact of the Deka Haimong men having offered to become British subjects, and to pay Rs. 7 per house per annum for the privilege. This is a significant fact. I believe there are a great many other villages who would be very glad to do the same. Many Nagas who have had some experience of us have declared at different times that they would be only too glad if some external power superior to them all would step into repress their endless raids on each other, and their blood-feuds; but, as they say, no one village or even tribe could of itself initiate the reign of peace. I am of opinion that the establishment of the station at Wokha would go far towards attaining this "most devoutly-to-be-wished-for consumation." Samaguting is very low, far away from any powerful Naga villages, out of the Nagas' sight, and almost out of their country; whereas Wokha and its peak are well in Naga land, and are visible to all the surrounding tribes. I consider that the station might be formed there now with very little opposition, if any, from surrounding villages. The Nagas seem to get very soon accustomed to our permanent presence in any place; and at Wokha, on my second visit in March, I found the villagers and the sepoys on the most intimate terms - women and children passing backwards and forwards through the camp all day long without the slightest fear; the boys frequently supping in camp with their friends, and even passing the night there. This I also found to be the case at Tablung. We had seldom any difficulty, if ever, in getting coolies from Bhandari, Sanigaon, Wokha, etc., for taking supplies to the guard there.