The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: punitive expedition to Sema village of Nungtang
caption: Nagas
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Frontier Affairs
caption: burning of Sema village of Nungtang; hostage taken
medium: reports
ethnicgroup: AoHatiguriaSema
location: Nungtang Seleku Are
date: 16.1.1885
date: 18.1.1885
date: 1884
date: 1885
date: 16.1.1885-18.1.1885
text: On the 16th January, Nungtang was reached. Messengers had been set on ahead to inform the headmen that they must give up the murderers of the Seleku man, and must come out and meet the party a short distance from their village; but the messengers returned, stating that the headmen had bolted, and that the whole of the Nungtang men had removed their property into the jungle.
text: As the party approached the village, they found an offering of three pigs, a maund of rice and a few limes placed on the side of the path, and two men with every sign of trepidation came forward to meet them. An advance was made, but the villagers slowly retired and carefully keeping at a distance of 20 years, went into the village. Suddenly their hearts seemed to fail them and they took to their heels and disappeared, leaving the village entirely deserted.
text: From noon on the 16th to noon on the 18th January every endeavour was used to induce the headmen to come in, but in vain, and the Deputy-Commissioner accordingly set fire to the village and proceeded to Are. The village of Nungtang had on several previous occasions murdered British subjects and escaped punishment, and the loss inflicted on this occasion may act as a check in the future. Before leaving Nungtang, one man of this village was taken prisoner. He pointed out the houses of the murderers, and stated that the Seleku man was killed not from any blood-feud, but simply as a warlike feat. The prisoner was brought to the outskirts of the village and he was made to shout out that he would be kept as a hostage, pending the release of the Are woman and child. The only reply given was that the Nungtang man must first be released, and they would consider afterwards if they could give up the woman and child.