The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: punishment of villages across the Dikhu river
caption: Naga Hills district
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Frontier Affairs
caption: Mazung Expedition
medium: reports
person: McCabe/ MrMacintyre/ Lt.Maxwell/ Lt.
ethnicgroup: Mazung
location: Dikhu R. Mazung-Jami Santok (Sontak) Noksan (Noksen) Litim (Litam)
date: 1888
date: 1889
text: To inflict retribution for the massacres of June and to recover, if possible, some 7 or 8 captives alleged to have been carried off, a punitive expedition against the Mazungs was sanctioned by the Government of India. The expedition under the Deputy-Commissioner crossed the Dikhu on the 5th January 1889. It consisted of a force of 200 frontier policemen of the Naga Hills and Lakhimpur battalions under their Commandants, Lieuts. Macintyre and Maxwell. Mazung-Jami was reached on the 12th January, the only opposition en route being on the 9th at the village of Sontak, where a stand was made for a short time in a carefully prepared position, form which a fire of arrows was opened on the police as they approached. The position was quickly taken without loss. There was a further slight skirmish at Mazung-Jami. A halt was made at this village, a finely situated one of 600 houses, on the 13th and 14th January, in order to open negotiations with the chiefs of the tribe, but they refused to come in. During this halt one sepoy was killed and another was wounded while fetching water. The Mazungs refused to come to terms, and abandoned the village of Mazung-Jami with an enormous quantity of grain stored in it, after destroying it. Before this village was reached no less than five villages through which the expedition passed had been burnt by the Mazungs themselves as if to stay an advance on the chief village, and four others were destroyed either by the enemy themselves or by the police, after their occupation. During the whole operations some 5 or 6 of the Mazungs were killed. The expeditionary force returned to Mongsemdi on the 17th January. Although the expedition was a failure, so far as regards recovering the captives, a severe punishment was inflicted on the Mazung community at large by the destruction of ten of their villages, numbering some 1,500 houses, with almost all their stores of grain, and its effects have been shown since in messages of submission not only from Noksen and Litam, but from Mazung-Jami itself, whence requests for pardon for the killing of the sepoy have been received by the officer in charge of the Ao country.