The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: Nagas
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Frontier Affairs
caption: Nagas on the Lakhimpur frontier; abduction and murder of people from the plains
medium: reports
person: Abang/ of NamsangRangbam/ of NamsangNakpoRohangHamamBangiaFusonFuman
ethnicgroup: NamsangiaBorduaria
location: Dilih
date: 3.1888
date: 1887
date: 1888
text: 29. The Namsangia and Borduaria Nagas visited the plains very freely during the cold weather; hundreds of them worked on the tea-gardens near Dum-Duma, and on the railway near Makum, where they are chiefly employed in clearing jungle. The old standing feud between these two tribes continues, but on entering British territory they forget for a time their quarrels and men of both clans are found working together. About the close of the year, on the 23rd March 1888, some 50 armed Namsangias headed by one Abang, brother of the Namsang Chief Rangbam, came down to the village of Dilih, where some Namsangia Nagas have settled in the plains on the north bank of the Disang river within British territory, and carried away to the hills 6 persons, all relatives of one Fuman, son-in-law of Abang. These persons were:-
text: 1. Nakpo, father of Fuman
2. Rohang, brother of No.1
3. Phakha, son of No.1
4. Hamam, wife of No.2
5. Bangia, wife of No.3
6. Fuson, son of Nos.2 and 4, a child of 2 years.
text: The cause of the raid was stated by the two Namsangia Chiefs, Rangham and Abang, to be that Fuman, Abang's son-in-law, had an infant child some six months old; Fuman, his father Nakpo, and his uncle Rohang, who were all hillmen and never resided in the plains, wished to leave their village and go to another in the same hills; Fuman's wife objected and was supported in her objection by her father Abang; the three men Nakpo, Rohang, and Fuman therefore carried away the infant in order to bring pressure to bear on the mother; the child was never seen again and was supposed to have been murdered by the three men, and to avoid Abang's wrath, the three men absconded. Nakpo and Rohang came to Dilih and Fuman hung about the village in the hope of getting his wife and taking her with him to the plains. Fuman was apprehended in the hills and Nakpo and Rohang were pursued to Dilih and captured and taken away. The chiefs added that Fuman, Nakpo and Rohang had been tried by a council of their own people, condemned to death, and executed. Enquiries held by the Deputy-Commissioner showed that the statement of the chiefs that Rohang was a hillman was false. Rohang had been at Dilih nearly two years. He had built a house and resided in it with his elder wife and three children; he cultivated land held under 'patta', and paid rent for the land. He was a British subject, and settled in the British territory within the Inner Line. As regards Nakpo, the chief's statement that he was a hillman was correct. Owing to the complication in the hills between himself, his son Fuman and Abang, he fled to Dilih and was followed and carried away with Rohang because the latter had given him shelter. Phakha was also taken away. He was not fastened, but there is no doubt that he did not go voluntarily. Hamam and Bangia and Hamam's child were also taken up in the same way. Phakha and his wife Bangia were residents of Dilih, but they decided to live in the hills. Hamam was the second wife of Rohang, but she came down with Nakpo a few days before the occurrence and was not, therefore, a resident of the plains, and no force was used to induce her to go up. In punishment for this aggression on British territory, and the killing of the two men Nakpo and Rohang, the latter a British subject, the Deputy-Commissioner fined the Namsang chiefs one thousand rupees and fifteen guns and debarred the Namsangias from coming to the plains till the end of October 1888. This punishment the Chief Commissioner considered altogether inadequate, but as the Deputy-Commissioner had unfortunately announced his award, and the fine had actually been paid up before the conclusion of the case was reported, it was thought wiser not to interfere, lest the Deputy-Commissioner's authority might be weakened.