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 C. H.M. Hinde's report
caption: warring villages and the difficulty of travelling in the hills
medium: tours
ethnicgroup: LhotaHatigoria
location: Mongchen (Munching) Waromung (Woramong) Cholimsen (Mukhigaon) Changki Mekula Lakhuti Akuk
date: 18.2.1876-21.2.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 11. On the 18th, we arrived at Munching, a very long march from Deka Haimong, passing Bura Haimong, Dibua, and Woramong. We were by no means so cordially welcomed in these villages as on our previous visit to them, but this I found to be the case all along. We found Woramong had been accidentally burnt to the ground during the night, a short time before our arrival.
text: 12. On the 19th, we marched to Mukhigaon, Mr. Ogle carrying out his observations en route.
text: 13. On the 20th, we marched from Mukigaon, through the large village of Changki, to Mekula. Between Mekula and Changki there is scarcely a vestige of a road. The two villages are at bitter feud, and have been for generations, in fact, for so long that no one knows what they originally quarrelled about; the probable reason is that they are different tribes, and therefore, in the Naga's estimation, natural foes,_the Mekula men being Lhotas and the Changki men Hatigorias. The road consequently is merely a jungle track, worn by the warriors of the two villages in their raids on each other, and is studded thickly with pitfalls and panjies, as our advance-guard discovered to their cost. Mekula, being in full view of Pangti, was most painfully polite; they cut up our firewood, supplied us with rice, built our camp, and one gentleman went so far as to insist on taking off my boots.
text: 14. On the 21st February, I marched from Mekula to Lakhuti, passing through Akuk, a moderately sized village, the people of which were very attentive. On reaching Lakhuti, however, our reception was very different, the Nagas preserving a most distant and almost hostile demeanour towards us. The bad conduct of the villagers, on Mr. Ogle's first visit to the place, and their present behaviour, occasioned evidently by the idea of their own strength and our divided numbers, determinated me to adopt a decided line with them. I sent a peremptory message into the village, ordering the headman in to pay their respects, and to furnish supplies. As no notice was taken of my message, I waited two hours to see if it would be complied with, and then, with a few men, went into the village. What the Nagas thought I was going to do, I am unable to say; but my visit to the village had a most surprising effect. In the course of the afternoon we were inundated with rice, fowls, eggs, goats, pigs,&c., borne by smiling Nagas, who seemed to think a little coercion the most agreeable pastime in the world. The headman of the village patrolled the jungles, until he had collected three loads of firewood, which he brought, one after the other, on his own shoulders into camp.
text: 15. On the 22nd,23rd, and 24th, we were detained at Lakhuti by the hazy weather, which rendered observation impossible. On the evening of the 24th, however, Mr. Ogle managed to secure the various points. After the first day, we met no annoyance from the villagers. An idea of the confidence they have in their strength may be gathered from the fact that, though at feud with many of the neighbouring Hatigoria villages, Lakhuti is entirely destitute of fortifications, in spite of its being built in a naturally weak position.