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: head-quarters removed to Kohima
medium: reports
person: Keatinge/ Col.
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Mezema (Mozima) Samaguting Kohima Khonoma (Konoma) Jotsoma Wokha (Woka) Golaghat Priphema (Piphima)
date: 11.1878
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Colonel Keatinge (Chief Commissioner of Assam) considered that "the main objects of the expedition were on the whole attained. A severe example had been made of Mozima, and the other villages received a very impressive lesson and warning in the destruction of that village." (Assam Administration Report, 1877-78.)
text: The Assam Administration Report adds:- "The policy to be adopted for the future towards these turbulent tribes of absolutely prohibiting the repetition of these intertribal raids and massacre has since been clearly laid down by the Government of India, and will be rigidly carried out. Its enforcement may at the outset be attended with some difficulty, and will demand the exercise of no little tact, firmness, and moderation; but its ultimate result, if consistently pursued, in the complete pacification of these savages, the Chief Commissioner sees no reason whatever to doubt."
text: In furtherance of this policy, it was determinated to advance the head quarters of the Naga Hills District from Samaguting to Kohima. The latter is a large village in the centre of the Angami Naga country, 34 miles south-east of the old station, and close to the group of villages, - Konoma, Mozima, Jotsoma, &c., - which had always been the most warlike and troublesome in the district. Several reasons combined to render some such movement desirable. It had been determinated to bring the Angamis into real, as well as nominal, subjection: the number of villages that voluntarily paid revenue in return for protection had much increased; and it was now thought that the time was at hand when all the Angami communities should be called upon for this practical proof of allegiance. Samaguting was notoriously unhealthy, and it had long been proposed to move the troops to a higher and less feverish spot; by occupying Kohima with a force of 200 soldiers and police, the former might be reduced, after a time, to a mere post of communication; and Kohima was not only much superior to Samaguting from a sanitary point of view, but the fact of troops being in that central and commanding situation would, it was hoped, enable the Political Officer to enforce the demands of Government in every corner of the Angami country.
text: The occupation of Kohima was carried out in November 1878. A detachment of two British officers and 116 of all native ranks, 44th Sylhet Light Infantry, under command of Lieutenant MacGregor, arrived there on the 14th of that month, and took up their ground without opposition. It was intended there should be supporting posts at Samaguting and Woka, with the wing of a Native infantry regiment in reserve at Golaghat. Detachments of frontier police, of about the same strength as the military, were to be permanently placed at Samaguting, Woka and Kohima, and guards of the same were to hold the stockade at Piphima (half way between Kohima and Samaguting) , and other posts on the road to Golaghat.
text: As the new station was some way off the "political path, " a road had to be cut to it. A good path was also to be made connecting Kohima and Woka, whence there was already a fair road to Golaghat, and it was proposed to constitute this the main line of communication. The post of Kohima itself was of course to be made thoroughly defensible.
text: It would appear, however, that the above arrangements were only partially carried out.