The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

printed - tour diary of the Deputy Commissioner of the Naga Hills for the year 1870-1872 (John Butler) volume two

caption: Kohima make difficulties over supplying coolies; to Kigwemah
medium: tours
person: Ogle
location: Kohima Puchama Phessama Kigwemah
date: 10.1.1871
person: Butler/ John
date: 22.11.1870-17.2.1873
note: inaccurate spelling in the original text
text: 10th January, Tuesday. As I anticipated, this morning I again had to fight the coolie difficulty. the Kohima men first refused point blank to carry my loads and then said they would only take them on to the next village but finally promising they would bring them on the whole distance. I left the village about 10 a.m., and trusting to their good faith marched on ahead in order to point out the different villages to Mr. Ogle. We marched back through Puchama and Phessama and encamped at the village of Kigwemah which we reached at about 3 p.m. having come about 9 miles. Our baggage did not arrive however until after dark when I learnt that the Kohima men or rather the greater portion of them had laid down their loads at Puchama notwithstanding their promise that they would bring them right on and so insolent were the Nagas in my absence that I am sorry to add my men appear to have very nearly come to blows in procuring fresh coolies. These savages are really scarcely a degree better than brutes. Kindness appears to be utterly thrown away upon them. They seem to have a most extraordinary capacity for misunderstanding ones actions - the last thing I hear is that because I have insisted [3] always upon paying for all coolees and supplies they now say that "this Sahib cannot really be very powerful or else he would take what he wanted without payment as the Munneepurees do" and others again are most apprehensive of Mr. Ogle's proceedings and are busy spreading abroad the report that we are now measuring the country in order only to raise "khazana" hereafter and I am afraid nothing can be done until we assume our proper position among this and in order to do that we shall require a very much larger force than we possess at present.