The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Account of the valley of Munnipore and of the Hill Tribes' by Major W. McCulloch

caption: development of trade; subjugation of Kupooee Nagas; road building
medium: articles
person: Pemberton/ Capt.Chourjeet SingGumbheer Sing
ethnicgroup: Kupooee
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: Had the connexion of the British Government with Munnipore been as willing as it was unwilling, and had it effected nothing more for the country than to give it immunity from the enormous cruelties of the Burmese, that alone would have been much, but by it the country has increased in numbers and in wealth, the oppression of its rulers, as a consequence of the support afforded them, has been checked, and the people obliged to think of other means than revolution for bettering themselves. Prominent amongst these means is commerce. "In the reign of Chourjeet Sing," observers Captain Pemberton. "some traffic was carried on by the inhabitants of the Munnipore valley (40) with those residing on the banks of the Ningthee River, and in the Doab of the latter and Irawattee. The intercourse between Munnipore and the more flourishing countries to the westward, was at that time confined to the occasional transit of a few passengers proceeding on pilgrimages to Western India and Nuddea, and they were subjected to such extortions by the Kupooee tribe of Nagas occupying the hills of the intervening tract, and incurred such serious risk of life from the lawless habits and fierce passions of these irresponsible savages, that the journey from Munnipore into Cachar, which is now accomplished with perfect security, was an undertaking of the most serious nature, which all were anxious if possible to avoid. Since the restoration of the Munnipore dynasty, and the subjugation of the Kupooees by the late Raja Gumbheer Sing, these obstacles have been permanently removed; parties of from two to four Bengalees ( probably the most constitutionally timid race on the face of the earth) now cross from Cachar into Munnipore throughout the year with the most perfect security; and some few Shans from the banks of the Ningthee, have succeeded within the last two years in disposing of small investments which they conveyed through Munnipore to Sylhet." The construction by the British Government of a magnificent road through the mountains from Cachar to the valley has added to the advantages obtained from the subjugation of the Kupooees by the Raja Gumbheer Sing, and the facility of transit afforded by it has considerably increased the commerce with the West. In the commercial movement, the Shans, on the immediate frontier, have participated, and buffaloes alone to the value of from Rupees 30,000 to 50,000 have been for some years past annually exported by them, but beyond the immediate frontier, traders from the West feel too insecure to advance. Looking, however, at the obstacles that have been placed in the way of commerce by the most civilized people, it may be a subject for congratulation that the progress it has made amongst these semi-savages has been so great.