The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - Chapter II, 'Detailed Report on the Naga Hills Expedition of 1879-80', Capt. P.J. Maitland

caption: Naga harrasment of British territory 1851-1865
medium: reports
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Samaguting Dimapur
date: 1851-1865
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: From 1851 to 1865 the Nagas harried our territory, both on the north and south, pretty much at their own good pleasure. On the side of Nowgong we fell back before them from Samaguting to Dimapur, and from Dimapur to Borpathar. North Cachar suffered most. There "the frontier line was always a matter of doubt, and the presumption was that any village attacked lay beyond "the boundary." And in that case it was not considered to be the business of the British Government to interfere. At one time the local officers, almost in despair, actually proposed to abandon the district.
text: At length in 1862 the Commissioner was constrained to say, 'it is not creditable to Government that such atrocities should occur annually with unvarying certainty, and that we should be powerless alike to protect our subjects or punish the aggressors. It is quite certain that our relations with the Nagas could not possibly be on a worse footing than they are now. The non-interference policy is excellent in theory, but Government will probably be inclined to think that it must be abandoned.' " (Memorandum on the North-East Frontier of Bengal, by Alexander Mackenzie.)