The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: Nagas
caption: Chapter VII. Frontier Relations and Feudatory States
caption: administration; feuds
medium: reports
date: 1882
date: 1883
text: With the internal affairs of these people we hardly meddle at all; but they are prohibited from carrying their quarrels into the settled British territory, and if they do so are tried and punished by our court. On this frontier a system prevails by which the Nagas of each group have allotted to them certain Assamese agents, called 'kotokis', who manage small plots of revenue-free land, called 'Naga khats', on behalf of the tribes. When the attendance of the chiefs in the hills is required for any purpose, they are summoned through their 'kotokis'. If satisfaction for robberies and other outrages is not in this way obtained, the Duar or pass through which the tribe visits the plains, is blocked, and no one is allowed to come down or go up. This system has rarely failed to secure reparation, and, on the whole, the conduct of the Nagas on this frontier, when left to themselves, has been peaceable and quiet, so far as the settled lands of the plains are concerned. Among themselves, however, their feuds are incessant, and are only composed to break out anew. The easternmost tribes of Borduarias and Namsangias have thus been prosecuting a quarrel for over fifty years, each group taking when it can the lives and heads of some of the other. With these feuds it has not been our policy to meddle, though attempts has occasionally been made to mediate between contending tribes.