The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: the Manipur revolt
caption: Manipur
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Foreign Affairs
caption: raids by Manipuri Kukis and other hill tribes
medium: reports
person: Maxwell/ Maj. H. St. P.Howell/ MrButcher/ Capt.Tonghu
ethnicgroup: KukiKabuiKuki <ChassadTangkhul
location: Atteng Pakop Sylim Makui Chingai Lochai Paowi (Powi) Ngari Poi Gnaru Khamason Chingsao Kalhang Namli Mapum Langket
date: 1891
date: 1892
text: "6. This policy has rendered the Manipur Kukis somewhat unconciliatory, and as soon as affairs in Manipur became disturbed, they commenced to raid on the less well-armed Nagas. In July the Kukis of Changchin, Phaipi, Paipijung, Laipimul, Bhum Kattan, Multang, and Thangchung, a group of villages on the north-west border of the State, raided the Kabui Naga village of Atteng, and killed fifty-two souls and took captive a small boy.
text: The Kuki story is that shortly after the Manipur disaster the Nagas killed a Government elephant near the Manipur-Cachar road, and confiscated the tusks, which the Kuki headman sent for to return to Government. Two of the Kuki messengers were killed by the Nagas, and arrangements were made to avenge the murder, which were carried out with the sad result above mentioned, the attacking party losing two men.
text: The Nagas say that the Kukis demanded tribute from them, which they declined to pay, but they sent the tusks with six men to the headman; the Kukis killed five of the Nagas, and the sixth man escaped badly wounded, but before he had time to reach his village, the Kukis raided it, and killed 52 of their people, among the slain being women and children. On the side of the attacking party two men were killed. On the 8th August Mr Howell, Assistant Commissioner, left Manipur for Kohima, whence he was to make an attack on the raiders via Henima, and a detachment of the 42nd Gurkha Rifles under Captain Butcher was told off to accompany him. On arrival at Kohima, the leading Kukis surrendered, and were placed in jail. Mr Howell instituted enquiries into the raid, and came to the conclusion that the Kukis were to blame, though possibly, in the first instance, the Atteng Nagas had treacherously killed the Kuki messengers. The following punishment was inflicted:- The Kukis to pay a fine of 40 guns and Rs. 1,000 in cash and the captive boy to be restored, the money fine, when realised, to be paid to Atteng as compensation. The Kukis declared their inability to pay so heavy a fine, but eventually it was realised, though not before the community were reduced to great poverty. The boy was made over to his parents, and the money fine was paid to Atteng. The firearms surrendered were destroyed.
text: There has been no trouble since in this direction, and throughout the year the Manipur-Cachar road has been perfectly safe for travellers.
text: The history of a second raid, in which the Kukis were concerned, is as follows:- The Nagas of Makui village residing to the north-east of Kaitamabi, the second stage on the Manipur-Kohima road, had charge of a State granary near their village. Early in June, hearing of the disturbed condition in Manipur, the Kukis of Pakop and Sylim villages in the Naga Hills district came to Makui, and asked for some of the dhan; the custodians refused, and were attacked by the Kukis, and three were killed. The Kukis expressed regret to the Makui villagers, and, in order to show contrition and a desire for forgiveness, invited the Nagas to a feast at a stream halfway between the two villages. When the dinner was in progress, the Kukis turned on their guests, and murdered 17. The matter was brought to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner of the Naga Hills district, who inflicted a fine of Rs. 450 on Pakop and Rs. 300 on Sylim.
text: The Tangkhul Hills, lying to the east of the valley, became unsettled as soon as the Manipuri sipahis were withdrawn, i.e., immediately after the disaster, and during June to September six disputes occurred, which called for our intervention. Mr Howell made two tours into these hills, and satisfactorily settled these feuds:
text: (1) Chingai raided on Lochai and took seven heads, and were fined Rs. 300;
text: (2) Powi killed four persons of Ngari while working in the fields, and half the village was destroyed, and a fine of Rs. 175 was inflicted;
text: (3) the village of Poi raided Gnaru, just across our border, near Somra, and killed 11 people, and were inconsequence fined Rs. 500;
text: (4) Khamason attacked Chingsao, killing one man and looting the village, and were fined Rs. 140;
text: (5) Kalhang raided Namli; and
text: (6) Mapum raided Langket, though no loss of life resulted, and both the offending villages were fined.
text: All these cases had their cause of action in bygone times, and were only brought to the front by the favourable opportunity arising of the removal of the Manipuri sipahis. Under ordinary circumstances, they might not have occurred, and in future such misconduct will be treated with greater severity. Owing, however, to the stress of work, these much to be regretted raids had to be quickly disposed of. Since the punishments the villages have settled down peaceably. Complaints, however, have been frequently received of the overbearing behaviour of the Chassad Kukis towards the near Tangkhul villages, which have been made to cultivate the Kuki fields and in other respects to labour for the tribe. In May, when the Manipuri princes were pursued, Tonghu, the headman, assisted our troops, but since then he has neither paid his revenue nor tendered his submission, and, although ordered to come to Manipur, has declined to obey. I propose to treat his case early in November next, unless in the meantime he has thought fit to submit. For some years he defied the late Darbar until an expedition brought him to his senses, and he apparently hopes to intimidate use to leave him alone.