The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: Naga Hills
caption: Relations with Tributary State and Frontier Affairs.
caption: revenue collection; decline in opium use
medium: reports
person: McCabe/ MrHopkinson/ Col.
ethnicgroup: AngamiRengmaLhota
date: 1882
date: 1883
text: 33. The house-tax rose from Rs.25,756 to Rs.26,732 in spite of the cession of Waglai and Diyungpar, assessed at Rs.376, to North Cachar. This increase is entirely due to Mr. McCabe's inspections and numbering of the houses, for there had been much irregularity before in the house lists, and some villages were very much under-assessed. The Angamis pay Rs.2, the Rengmas, Lhotas and Semas R.1 per house, except the Semas of Lozema, who for their contumacy are assessed at Rs.2. Mr. McCabe warns the Government that the house-tax as source of revenue is likely to fall off, especially among the Lhotas who are full of subterfuges, and are inclined now to alter their customs in order to avoid payment. A son who married formerly used to set up a separate house: now he is content to partition off a room in his father's house. If this is the case, it will probably be necessary to substitute a poll-tax for a house-tax. There is only one portion of the district in which land revenue is paid - the Borpathar mauza: here the rates per cultivated bigha are those which were in force in the Assam Valley generally, before they were raised in Colonel Hopkinson's time. Excise has fallen off, producing only Rs.2,328 against Rs.6,550: this was due to the discouragement of opium sales, and the small price the shops fetched. The shops have been reduced to 17 in 1882-83 and to 7 in 1883-84. It is only among the Mikirs and Western Rengmas that the drug is largely consumed, and the Chief Commissioner is desirous of preventing its spread among the Nagas of the hills, and for this cause the decrease in the opium revenue is viewed by him with satisfaction. The revenue from stamps has fallen from Rs.8,914 to Rs.7,945 and the loss is entirely in telegraph stamps: this is due to the improvement in the post, which runs now from Kohima to Golaghat in two days.