The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Col. Johnstone's description of the relief of Kohima
caption: Viswema gives safe passage and supplies; report from Kohima
medium: reports
person: Johnstone/ Col.
location: Viswema Khuzama (Khoijami)
person: Maitland/ Capt. P.J.
date: 1880
person: India Office Library, London
refnum: IOR L/MIL/17/18/24
text: Here I may mention a slight incident, which, as it happened, turned out to be important. Last year two young men came to me from Viswema, and begged me to employ them. I did not want extra hands at the time, but thinking that some day they might be useful, I gave them work in my garden. On hearing the bad news on the 22nd ultimo I at once despatched one of these young fellows, with the emissary mentioned in my former letter, to endeavour to keep his village quiet, and negotiate a safe passage for my party so as to avoid the delay attendant on forcing one by arms; and now the money spent in maintaining the lad was well repaid, as shortly after my arrival at Khoijami, he came to me and said that Viswema would remain quiet and give supplies. I sent him back for rice, and hostages in the shape of coolies, which he brought in in the evening.
text: At Khoijami, also, the Manipuri Nagas of Mao brought in to me seven refugees from the Kohima garrison, Nepaulese coolies, who were so weak from hunger and terror that they could hardly speak. They gave a deplorable account of the sufferings of the garrison, which they said was cut off from water, and reduced to half a pound of flour per diem. They said the ammunition was nearly ( Untrue J.J.) expended, and the Nagas growing more bold; they also mentioned having seen columns of smoke that morning, which made them think that the stockade had fallen.