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: strategic position of Konoma
medium: reports
location: Khonoma (Konoma) Japvo Mt.
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Konoma stands, or rather stood, on the crest of a steep spur. In this case the spur terminates in a hog-backed hill, rising abruptly from the plain of the valley to a height of about twelve hundred feet. Its summit is crowned by the village, which also extends some way down the western slope. At the foot of the hill in front, and on both sides, there is tolerably, level ground, which has been carefully terraced for rice cultivation. In rear, the hill descends abruptly to a saddle, behind which the crest runs steeply up to join the peaks of Japvo. The ascent on either side of the ridge is so steep and wooded as to preclude the possibility of attack from the flanks. The village, therefore, lying lengthwise along the crest had necessarily to be assaulted in front or rear, at one or both of its narrow extremities.
text: The north end of Konoma faced the advancing troops, and Brigadier General Nation determined on attacking it, rather than the south end, where the ground was less difficult, as " the enemy had other posts higher up the hill, and the guns would have been placed between two fires, to say nothing of the very great difficulties to be encountered in getting them there, as the coolies carrying them would have had to pass through a very heavy musketry fire for over a mile. The valley through which the only route lay is terraced for rice cultivation, with drops from terrace to terrace of from three to eight feet, and is not more than one thousand yards across at its widest point; it is thoroughly commanded by the village of Konoma on the one side, and, on the other, by mountain sides covered in part with dense jungle which held Naga skirmishers." ( Konoma Despatch.)