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: Aos. Feuding
medium: reports
person: McCabe/ Mr
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Merangkong (Naogaon) Lungkam (Nankam) Mongsenyimti (Mongsemdi) Asongma Khebja Assiringia Akhoia (Akoia) Tamlu
date: 1888
date: 1889
text: 31. The Ao country was throughout the year the object of special attention on the part of the district officers, and was traversed by the Deputy-Commissioner no less than four times, on each occasion through the greater part of its length and breadth. The year opened while Mr. McCabe, who was then Deputy-Commissioner, was engaged in touring through the district on the so-called annual promenade. Owing to frequent changes in the office of Deputy-Commissioner during the year 1886 and 1887, this promenade had not, as a matter of fact, been carried out for more than three years, although in June 1886 there had been a special punitive expedition to Naogaon, and the village of Nankam had been twice visited in 1887. The last, and in fact the only previous, thorough visitation of the tribe had been made by Mr. McCabe himself in the early part of the year 1885, an account of which will be found in paragraph 38 of the Report for 1884-85.
text: In the promenade now under notice, Mr. McCabe dealt with three cases of murders of persons belonging to Ao villages in the area of political control by men of other villages in the same area. Excepting the Naogaon and Nankam cases referred to above, which were of so flagrant a nature as to call for immediate action, and some fighting attended by loss of life between Mongsemdi and Asongma, which was never reported, these three cases were, so far as is known, the only murders which had been committed by protected villages since the promenade of 1885. There were other cases in which Ao villages had suffered at the hands of independent villages, but these three cases were the only cases in which they were themselves the offenders. These cases were:-
1. The murder of our men of Khebja by Assiringia in May 1885.
2. The murder of a woman of Asongma in December 1886 by Mongsemdi.
3. The murder of a man of Akoia by Tamlu in March 1887.
text: In the first case the four men of Khebja, a very small village, were killed by the villagers of Assiringia while trading in the latter village. Assiringia is a village immediately over the plains, where all the men speak Assamese and work constantly on tea-gardens. On this account Mr. McCabe departed from the rules laid down by the Government of India in such cases, and dealt with the murder judicially in addition to fining the village Rs.300. Three men, who confessed to the murder, were sentenced to ten years' rigorous imprisonment each, a sentence which was confirmed by the Chief Commissioner. In the second case of the Asongma woman murdered by Mongsemdi, as this was only the last incident in a long course of village warfare, in the course of which Mongsemdi had lost six men killed, a fine of Rs.100 was considered sufficient to meet the requirements of the case. In the third case an Akoia man was killed by a head-hunting party from Tamlu. No quarrel appears to have existed between the villages, but the man killed happened to be the first who passed by the ambush where the Tamlu men lay hidden and he was accordingly speared. Mr. McCabe in this case called for the surrender of the murderers, who were known and denounced by the headmen of some of the other khels in the village, but as this was refused, after waiting for two days, he burnt the village. The khel to which the guilty men belonged has since left Tamlu, and taken refuge in Yangia, in independent territory, across the Dikhu.