The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - Chapter III 'Detailed Report on the Naga Hills Expedition of 1878-80', Capt. P.J. Maitland

caption: march to Piphema
medium: reports
location: Priphema (Piphema) Pherima (Pherima Pani) Kiruphema (Karuphima) Sachema (Sachima)
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: A correspondent of the Times of India writes: " This march ( to Piphima) of nine miles took almost as many hours to do, on account of the road, or rather path, having to be improved every few yards to be made passable for elephants. Marching up-country is mere child's play to what you have to undergo when marching through the thick jungle forests met with in the Naga Hills. It is here that the Goorkha's kookrie, and his hard-working qualities are called into full play. Every quarter of an hour at least the column had to halt, and working parties with picks, shovels, and kookries, were hard at work, sometimes as long as an hour together. Bridges had to be repaired, trees cut down, paths widened, and ramps cut in the banks of shallow streams were too steep; but the Goorkhas set to work with a will at each obstruction, and when they had done their work stepped on as briskly as ever." On arrival at Piphima Colonel Nuttall burnt the village, reserving only two huts as store sheds. It was at this place that a police guard had been cut up and a quantity of ammunition plundered a fortnight before, and the village itself was deeply implicated in the rising. On the same day (9th) General Nation left (31) Samaguting for Pherima Pani, and on the 10th he reached Piphima, where the whole available force was concentrated on that or the next day.
text: A short pause now ensued. Kohima had been saved by Colonel Johnstone. The guns could hardly reach Piphima before the 18th or 19th, and it was necessary to await their arrival before marching on Konoma, the immediate objective of the expedition. A good deal of work had also to be done on the spot. The "political path," as before mentioned, had been destroyed by the Nagas, and this was now made practicable for elephants as far as Karuphima; beyond which point the General considered it safest to rely on coolie carriage alone. (But at least one convoy went right on to Sachima: vide Appendix A,- Transport. ) A new stockade was also built at Piphima on the site of the burnt village; and grain collected from the surrounding country, as it was intended to establish there an intermediate depot.
text: On the 14th November the Brigadier General telegraphed the distribution of the Field Force as under:-