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: establishment of Lt. Gregory at Samaguting 1866
medium: reports
person: Gregory/ Lt.
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Samaguting Dimapur Razepima
date: 1866
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: The secretary of State approved of all that had been done.
text: Lieutenant Gregory was accordingly established at Samaguting in 1866, and entrusted with large discretionary powers. He was supported by a small force of 150 police; all hillmen and well armed. A road was opened up to the new station from Dimapur; and the work of civilising, or, at least, taming, the Nagas, fairly entered upon. Lieutenant Gregory's own idea of how this should be commenced is as follows: " I would advance step by step, yearly opening out a good road as I went, never getting in advance of the road, and never in advance of ground I was not sure of, until I reached the very centre of the most thickly populated portion of the country. There, clear of any village but that of my own hewers of wood and drawers of water, I would built the permanent station." It is perhaps unfortunate that Lieutenant Gregory's idea has not been more strictly followed out. A merely conciliatory and faint-hearted policy was not, however, included in that officer's method of managing the Nagas. The first village that misbehaved (Razepima) was at once attacked and burnt. The Angamis resented this severity by making another raid on a large scale, and butchering twenty six Mikirs in the village of Sergamcha in North Cachar. It was then resolved to make an example of the offenders with all possible promptitude. As soon as the season permitted, a force was marched into the hills. " The village was razed to the ground; its lands declared barren and desolate for ever; and its people, on making complete submission, were distributed among other communities." (Memorandum on the North-East Frontier of Bengal, by Alexander Mackenzie.) At the same time an amnesty for the past was extended to all others. All raiding into Cachar and the plains ceased forthwith, and with rare exceptions has never been resumed.