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: II. Semas: head-taking raids, punishment
medium: reports
person: Porteous/ MrDavis/ MrMacintyre/ Capt
ethnicgroup: Sema
location: Diyung R. (Doyang R.) Lotesami (Latesami) Vekohimi Asakukohemi Nantaleik R. (Tizu R.) Emilomi Seromi New Lisimi Litsimi Yekashe Ghovishe
date: 1890
date: 1891
text: 28. The Semas of the political control area were visited by Mr. Porteous in May 1890 and again by Mr. Davis in December 1890. No cases of head-taking by villages lying within the area of political control, i.e. the Doyang Valley, occurred during the year. Three murders, however, were committed at the village of Latesami during the year.
text: An affair which ended in the death of a man took place at Asakukohemi in December 1890. A man of Vekohimi went to Asakukohemi to trade. He there got into a quarrel with a man of that village who speared him through the leg as he was leaving the village. The Vekohimi man died within a few days. His assailant has absconded to one of the independent villages in the Tizu Valley.
text: Two cases in which Semas living within the political control area were murdered by Semas from independent villages occurred during the year. The details of these cases are as follows:-
text: 1. In November 1890 a man of Emilomi was murdered by men from the independent Sema village of Seromi. To punish this murder, Seromi was visited by the Deputy-Commissioner accompanied by Captain Macintyre and 50 men of the Military Police early in December 1890. The villagers admitted their responsibility for the murder and on their refusing to give up the murderers, were fined 30 cattle. The fine was realised.
text: 2. Early in December 1890 the village of New Lisimi was attacked by a war party from the villages of Litsimi, Yekashe and Ghovishe. The whole of the adult population was away in their fields at the time of the attack. The raiders consequently had no difficulty in getting the heads of ten children. The raid was reported to the Deputy-Commissioner at Emilomi on the day after its occurrence. He had with him at the time Captain Macintyre and 30 rifles of the Military Police. With this force he at once went against the guilty villages. Two of them, Yekashe's and Ghovishe's villages, were burnt with all their grain, the inhabitants refusing to come in. The punishment inflicted was a severe one as the harvest was just in, and it is to be hoped that it will deter these villages from head-taking in future. The expeditionary force returned to the Eastern Angami political control area via the villages of the Mezimi chiefs Hoshiapu and Sakhai.