The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: Naga Hills district
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Frontier Affairs
caption: Semas; punitive expedition to Sema country; punishment of Sakhai and other villages for head-taking
medium: reports
person: Sakhai/ of SakhaiHoshiapu/ of Sakhai
ethnicgroup: Sema
location: Phuima Zulhami Sakhai Lopphemi Kichilimi Shadilimi Lukovomi
date: 27.3.1887
date: 1887
date: 1888
text: 34. On the 27th March 1887, the Deputy-Commissioner started on his expedition against the chief Sakhai, in the Sema country, to punish raids committed on Angami villages within the area of political control, taking with him a force of 80 Frontier Police and 40 sepoys of the 42nd Gurkha Light Infantry. He reached Sakhai's village on the 1st April and occupied it without opposition. On the following day Sakhai surrendered himself and as he admitted the raids on the Eastern Angami villages of Phuima and Zulhami with which he was charged, his villages were jointly fined two mithan, ten cattle, 100 spears and 30 daos and Sakhai himself was taken as a political prisoner to Kohima to be kept there for two months. The whole of the fine imposed on Sakhai's villages was paid. A dependent chief of Sakhai, named Hoshiapu, was found also to have been concerned in the raids complained of. His village was visited and he was fined 5 cows and 20 daos. After concluding his operations against Sakhai, the Deputy-Commissioner marched through the Sema country, east of the Doyong, a part of the area under political control never previously visited. In all but two of the 16 Sema villages he halted at or passed through, all the women and children had been removed and all property of value taken out of the houses and the approaches to the villages bristled with panjis. In spite of all efforts to institute friendly relations, the villagers persisted in holding aloof. No attempt was made to punish villages against which no complaint was made, although trophies of fresh heads might show that it was not long since they had been on the war-path. On all occasions, however, the Deputy-Commissioner made it known to the villages that, for the future, raiding must cease and that murders would be followed by condign punishment. In the cases of three villages, Lopphemi, Kichilimi and Shasilimi, fines of cattle were inflicted as a punishment for recent raiding and murder. A brief account of each case will be found below. A fourth village, Lukovomi, was burnt as a punishment for an unprovoked attack made on the Deputy-Commissioner's party as they were leaving the village.