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: revised orders; hostility at Kite; desertion of interpreter
medium: tours
person: Needham/ Mr.Rihu
location: Tesophenyu (Tesephema) Kitami (Kite) Chaphimi (Sampe) Wokimi (Roki) Gwutkutomi (Goshitumi)
date: 22.12.1875-24.12.1875
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 6. The programme was now changed, and my orders were to put up marks at Lalumavu and Nummuh, and observe at the latter station and Nidzukru, a mark having already been put up at Nidzukru; after which I was to return to Wokha and observe at the hill above it.
text: 7. After one day's halt, I left Wokha in company with Mr. Needham and a guard of 24 sepoys, 3 havildars, 2 naiks, and 1 bugler, in command of a jemadar. Mr. Needham had his own escort of Samaguting police. Our first march was to Tesephema, over a very bad bit of road after leaving the village of Nonsechong, until we arrived below Kotsobagwe, a distance of some six miles. We got into Tesephema long after dark, most of my coolies and guard did not come in till early next morning. This place was a little out of our way, but the orders of the Political Agent were to visit the village, as the people did not behave in a proper manner towards Mr. Needham on the occasion of his passing through it about a week before. They were more obliging this time, probably from seeing a larger number of men; brought in firewood, fowls, eggs, &c., and promised to supply us with any quantity of rice we might require, which they did next morning.
text: 8. On the 23rd, we marched into Kite, passing close to Insema and through Kotsobagwe, where the people were friendly. Kite is the centre of a group of three villages, viz., itself, Sampe, and Roki, neither of which is more than half a mile from it. Representatives from all three villages met us, and behaved in a friendly manner at first, but later in the evening, when our camp was formed, we observed the people of Kite carrying away their household goods, and were apparently in a great state of excitement. On noticing this we sent for the headman, and asked him what it meant; he replied with great candour that the people were going to fight us, but at the same time said the elders did not wish it. Shortly after, Rihu, one of our interpreters, came down from the village and corroborated this man's statement, adding that the old men tried to dissuade the young men from doing anything so foolish, but the latter would not listen to their advice, and they were determined to attack us at night. We said we were quite prepared for them at any time, after which every Naga in camp was turned out. All night they were employed in carrying away their things, and shouting defiantly, but nothing occurred. Probably, they consulted their omens, which told them that it would be safer to let us alone; or they might, after all, have been overruled by their elders, for they were friendly again, and brought in rice next morning. We now found that Rihu, our interpreter, who was permitted to go to Roki on the previous night, did not appear, and on inquiring for him found he had deserted. Fortunately, there were two lads with us, one a native from Themoketsama and the other from Themokedima, who understood the language of the people we were among, and who proved of the greatest possible service to us.
text: 9. Notwithstanding their friendly demeanour this morning, but bearing in mind last night's demonstration, it behoved us to be careful in leaving camp. The road that we were to take led at once down into a small stream, from which our camp was supplied with water. On the opposite side of this stream was the village of Kite, and numbers of armed Nagas were ranged above the road which passed under the village, and which ran level along the side of a spur. We first started the coolies, and kept back eight or ten sepoys; so that, in case the villagers had any hostile intentions, we could command them from this point, which was open and well situated, and not much more than 250 yards off. After all the coolies got up the spur on to the level bit of road, and had formed an unbroken line and were clear of the Nagas, we followed up and marched past the village cautiously. We pitched camp that day at Goshitumi, where we arrived early and were well received.