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: to Pangti; unfriendliness at Nankam
medium: tours
location: Pangti Lungkam (Nankam) Okotso Mangmethang (Mungatung)
date: 25.2.1876-1.3.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
text: 16. On the 25th February, I marched to Pangti, which I found had been rebuilt, although it was deserted by the villagers on our approach. I had been informed by the Mekula men that Pangti intended to oppose my progress; had such ever been their intention, their hearts must have failed them at the last moment, - a very common occurrence, as we afterwards experienced.
text: 17. On the 25th February, I marched from Pangti to Nankam, passing through Okotso, a small village half Hatigoria and half Lhota, and in consequence bullied by the surrounding villages of both tribes. The perfect hopelessness with which they yield to the oppression that their weakness subjects them to may be imagined, when I say that the money that I paid for the supplies they brought us, was delivered on demand to one solitary Nankam man, who happened to be in the village on his way to the plains to trade. He simply put out his hand, and the money was placed in it without demur,almost as a matter of course. I restored it to the rightful recipient; but I suppose things went all right for the Nankam man after I had left. We reached Nankam about 3p.m., and I found, as I expected, that the Nankam men had got tired of us, and were by no means inclined to accord us the cheerful welcome we had received from them on our first visit. This I found, as I observed before, to be almost invariably the case. They refused even to show us water. One old man said to us : _ "Why should we show you water? Why are you here again? You said last time you were here you had come to make a map. What are you looking for now? Have you no rice in your own village, that you travel about to eat?" They also got up some cock-and-bull story about one of Mr. Ogle's guard having stolen a dao from one of their women; of course, I made an immediate inquiry, gave the woman an opportunity of identifying the offender, which she was unable to do, and finally discovered that it could not have been a man of our party, but in all probability a Mungatung Naga who had passed down the road just after us. It required all my temper to listen calmly to their assertions, to which they adhered with all the usual Naga obstinacy; our denials were met with demands for restitution, our protestations of innocence with contemptuous incredulity. At last, one particularly repulsive old man betook himself to threats: he said, _ "At your word all the troops will turn out, at mine all the Nagas, and then both Assamese and Nagas will die." It is only due to the bold Naga who made this speech to say that he was drunk; but of course his freedom of speech necessitated his immediate expulsion from camp. He went away in a great huff, and shortly after another old man came up to me and said he wanted Rs. 3, to make matters square between me and my irate friend, to whom he would present the money and my apologies. I declined this friendly intervention, holding out that I was the bigger man of the two, and the one to be appeased; and the result was that the repulsive Naga came down at 10 o'clock at night with a chunga of liquor and begged pardon most abjectly.
text: 18. Next day, the attitude of the Nagas was still more unfriendly. Men of Mungatung, to whom I had sent for rice, came in 150 strong, escorting twenty seers of rice, a most unnecessary precaution on their part. I sent them back for more, and got it. The Nankam men were, however, as obstructive as ever; in fact, I fully believe they had half a mind to attack; for on the 29th the war-drums in Nankam and Mungatung were beaten all the morning, but I suppose they thought better of it, for at 4 p.m. they brought us all the supplies we wanted.