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: Appendix A. M.J. Ogle's report
caption: survey of Lakhuti thwarted by Naga hostility; return to Wokha
medium: tours
person: ButlerMatthews/ Mr.Needham/ Mr.
location: Lakhuti Lungkam (Nankam) Khergaon Sanis (Sanigaon)
date: 10.12.1875-19.12.1875
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 2. After Captain Butler's return to Golaghat from Wokha, whither he proceeded with Colonel Tulloch to establish a guard, finding that the full complement of his coolies had not yet arrived, you decided upon sending me on in advance to erect the survey marks on Lakhuti and Nankam, two stations you had selected the previous year, after which I was to join you at Wokha.
text: 3. Accordingly, I left Golaghat on the 10th December, with a guard of forty men and one native officer in command, and encamped the first night near the Giladhari stream. On the 11th, I marched on to Bhandari, where there was a guard of eight sepoys in charge of the russud stored up there. On the 12th, I left Bhandari, and passed through Sanigaon and encamped at Khergaon, a village about two miles further on. Here the people were very civil, and supplied me with all I wanted, without making any difficulties about the matter. On the 13th, I started for Lakhuti, taking with me a guard of six sepoys, leaving the rest of them to follow up with the coolies. I arrived at the village about 9 a. m., and found very few people in it, only a few elderly men. I told them to call in the headmen, who were supposed to be out in their fields, and they promised to do so. The coolies and rest of the sepoys came in at about 12 o'clock. I at once passed through the village, pointed out a spot to the native officer for the camp, and instructed him to have it cleared and got ready while I went up to the hill with a few, coolies and a guard of four sepoys, and set about putting up the mark and doing some preliminary work. The mark was ready that evening, and I returned to camp at 5.30 p.m. I found that none of the headmen had come in. Between seven and eight o'clock two of them made their appearance, and promised me provisions and a guide next morning.
text: 4. They, however, did not keep their word - in fact, did not appear at all, but sent quite different person, who likewise was profuse in his promises of a guide. I asked him where the guide was; he replied,"waiting in the village." I marched the camp there, and when we got in he attempted to escape, but was seized. I halted the coolies at one end of the village, while this man inveigled me from place to place, saying that if I went with him to a certain house I should find the guide there, and when I got to it, he would say he had left this and gone to some other house, where I followed him. He kept on in this style for about half and hour, till I saw at last that he was deceiving me. I then tried to induce him to show me the way to Pangti himself, if he could not get another man, telling him he would be well regarded if he did, but all to no effect. Then I tried threats, which were equally ineffectual. While this was going on, I noticed there were only women and children and the old and decrepit left in the village, and I had been through a great portion of it. Shortly after, I was informed by the sepoys who were left in charge of the coolies below, that there were a number of armed men going along the road that was supposed to lead to Pangti, and when I returned to where the coolies were I found their report to be correct. This man at last flatly refused to give me a guide, nor would he accompany me himself. Seeing now the hostile demeanour of the people, and considering it beyond my province to enter into any complications by proceeding in the face of it, without first intimating the same to the Political Agent, I determined upon adopting this course, and returned to Sanigaon to await further orders. I was instructed to remain there till he came up.
text: 5. On the fourth day of my stay at Sanigaon, eight or ten Nagas from Lakhuti came in with presents of fowls, &c., and sent word to say that they wished to speak to me; but my reply was that I should have nothing more to do with them, and whatever they had to say now must be said to Captain Butler. They went away, and did not appear again, I believe, till we got to Wokha. I might mention that the night we were encamped at Lakhuti, men of that village were seen prowling about on the outskirts of the camp by the sentries, who, however, when challenged, went away: this was not reported to me till this day. Captain Butler, accompanied by yourself and Mr. Mathews, arrived on the 19th, and we all marched into Wokha on the following day, where we found Mr. Needham had come in a couple of days before.