The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

part of original tour diary of Lt. R.G. Woodthorpe 1876

caption: Woodthorpe's party involved in hostile engagement with Nagas, some Nagas killed and village burnt
medium: tours
person: GuzeramMemaramTulloch/ Col
location: Hueshonagami Nunomi Kakenagami Gwutkutomi (Gosutomi) Sanakesami (Shenokesami) Diyung R. (Doyang R.)
date: 3.3.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: (53) Friday 3rd.
text: (Fine all day though cloudy. Heavy shower about 11 p.m. Road good all way. New road between Hueshonagami and Nunomi - not the one we went before. Kakenagami at 7 a.m. 35 houses 5800/5600 M = 5700. Hueshonagami at 8 a.m. 40 houses 5360/5150 M = 5255. Nunomi at 9 a.m. about 150 houses 3580/3500 M = 3540. Gosutomi camp at 9 p.m. 4110/3930 M = 4020. ditto at 6 a.m. 4080/3900 M = 3990. Min = 47o.)
text: Up early and left Kakenagami sending Guzeram on for rice. He got rice both at Hueshonagami and two at Nunomi. We went on to near Gosutomi where the road turns off to Shenokesami. I had noticed a large number of Nagas leaving Nunomi and going into the ravine as if to go onto Gosutomi. When I got to the top I made enquiries about the road and finding the coolies might go down at once to the Doyang, I sent Memaram back to the Colonel to tell him so while I went on towards Shenokesami. I heard two shots fired behind, but as the Nunomian people had given rice so readily I did not think there was any chance of a row, but imagined some mistake had been made. However shortly after the colonel sounded the alarm and I returned to him sharp to learn to my surprise that the rear guard had been attacked by some Nagas who had come up from Nunomi behind us. They must have intended to have cut off the coolies before reaching the top of the hill I imagine but failed. They threw two spears from behind some piles of stones apparently old walls in the grass. I asked the Colonel for 20 men and we went at once to the village, leaving Memaram and the subadar to look after the coolies. We attacked and burnt the village killing a few of the Nagas on the road just outside the village. We saw one or two places just dug up, and the sepoys said the Nagas had been planting panjis, but on examination we found the head of a puppy in one hole and other portions of him in the others. I learned next day that the pujah is supposed to keep off all harm from guns (54) and spears. I fear the Naga faith in its efficacy must be shaken. We got back to Gosutomi about 7 p.m. and found the camp pitched in the old place as I had sent back orders on Tulloch's suggestion to Memaram early in the afternoon when we found we could not get back in time to go on further. I sent in a demand for supplies of rice to be given early tomorrow.