The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: Nagas
caption: Relations with Tributary States and Foreign Affairs
caption: Nagas on the Sibsagar frontier
caption: request for protection from tea gardens
medium: reports
person: Collett/ Gen.Johnson/ Lt.Horrocks/ MrCummings/ MrBegg/ MrFerguson/ MrMore/ Mr
location: Sibsagar Towkak T.G. Jabaka T.G. (Joboka T.G.) Holunguri T.G. Moriani T.G.
date: 1891
date: 1892
text: 24. In the cold weather the Nagas of the following changs paid visits of courtesy to the Deputy Commissioner, Sibsagar, and made presents of hill goats, spears, daos, etc.:
text: _____(1)_Changnoi________________________(9)_Bura_Langi
text: During the Manipur disturbances in April 1891 there was a sort of panic among the tea garden people all along our south-eastern frontier from Towkak to Geleki and a number of telegrams and letters calling for protection were received from the tea planters. The most pressing calls were from Bihubor, Cherideo, Towkak, Joboka and Banfera. On enquiry these reports were found to be a little exaggerated, but not quite without foundation. There was no reason to doubt that something unusual was noticeable in the movements and attitude of the Nagas and that there behaviour towards the people was in some cases insolent. In consequence of these reports, the General Officer Commanding and Officiating Chief Commissioner (General Collett) sent a detachment of 100 sepoys of the 36th Sikhs under Lieutenant Johnson. This detachment was stationed at Sibsagar for nearly two months and parties of 25 men each detailed from it were sent to Sonari and Bihubor where they remained for some time in order to allay all fears. Their presence had a wholesome effect both on the Nagas and on our people. A few Military Police were also sent to Geleki but they were soon recalled as it was found that their presence in that place was not required.
text: Mr. Horrocks, manager of Towkak and Mr. Cummings, manager of Joboka, gave information that 300 Nagas were encamped in Mr. Horrocks' seed garden. Petty thefts were numerous. Mr. Cummings had an iron anvil carried off and some bags of rice. They were both afraid that the coolies might take to flight at any moment. The Sonari police also made an enquiry about these 300 Nagas, and it transpired that bundles of rice had been sent from chang to chang the usual method adopted by these Nagas when they intend to combine for any purpose. All these incidents gave tolerably clear indications that the Manipur disturbances had unsettled the minds of the Nagas and that they were watching the result of the operations. Strong measures would have been required to keep them in check, had there been any mishaps in the course of the operations. As it was, they confined themselves to insolence and petty theft.
text: The Assistant Commissioner of Jorhat writes:
text: In last cold weather some 300 Nagas were working for some time on the tea garden as coolies under Mr. Begg at Holunguri. The only noteworthy event that I have to mention in this report is that in April last Mr. Ferguson, the manager of Moriani tea estate, having been misinformed by some of the natives in his factory, sent information to the subdivisional officer at Jorhat to the effect that there was every probability of Nagas raiding from the neighbouring hills, and that some 60 Nagas had already come down, all armed with spears, and that a guard was urgently required to be placed there. On receipt of this information, Mr. More, who was then subdivisional officer, wired to the subdivisional officer of Golaghat to send 30 sepoys immediately to Moriani. The requisition was complied with at once. Mr. More, when he personally visited the spot, found out that the rumour was entirely false and the 60 Nagas about whom Mr. Ferguson reported were found to have been sent, as usual, by the shopkeepers of Mokokchang to take provisions from a Kaiya at Moriani.
text: During the year under report there were five cases brought to trial against six Nagas. Three of them were cases under sections 370, 380 and 457 Indian Penal Code, in which three Nagas were convicted and sentenced - two to rigorous imprisonment for three months each and one to a fine of Rs.15. In one case two Nagas were fined one anna each for committing nuisances under section 34, Act V of 1861. In one case one Naga was fined Rs.15 for offering to sell foreign excisable ganja, under section 61, Act VII of 1878.