The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on Nagas from 'Assam Administration Report'

caption: the hills districts
caption: Historical Summary
caption: IV. Naga Hills. Early history
medium: reports
person: BhogchandVincent/ LtDalhousie/ Lord
ethnicgroup: Angami
location: Asalu
date: 1835
date: 1853
date: 1892
date: 1893
date: 1835-1853
text: 99. The defence of North Cachar and the Mikir Hills in Nowgong, lying to the north of that subdivision, from the attacks of the Angami Nagas was a task, however, which experience proved could not be successfully effected from Asalu. These turbulent neighbours led yearly expeditions into the hills and the valleys of the Jamuna, Diyung and Dhansiri rivers. Outposts throughout the hills held only the ground they covered, and the Nagas were able to creep by them with impunity. Ten military expeditions were led into the Naga Hills between 1835 and 1851, the greater number of which were to punish raids. In 1846 a police post under Bhogchand Darogha was established at Samaguting on a hill overlooking the Dhansiri Valley south of Dimapur. In 1849 Bhogchand was killed at Piphima in the hills by the men of Khonoma and Mezuma. In 1850 Lieutenant Vincent led a force to Mezuma to avenge Bhogchand's death and remained there for six months, burning Khonoma during his stay. In the winter of 1850-51 the tenth expedition, the greatest British force which had entered the hills. advanced to complete the work of punishment, and on the 10th and 11th December 1850 the strong fort of Khonoma was taken under almost the same circumstances as attended its capture twenty-nine years later in November 1879. Paplongmai was burnt and the Nagas of Kekrima who challenged our troops lost 300 killed in a hand-to-hand fight which was long remembered in the hills.
text: After this successful expedition, the Government of India decided upon a complete withdrawal from interference with the internal concerns of the Angami Nagas. The Governor General, Lord Dalhousie, wrote in his minute of 20th February 1851:
text: "Hereafter we should confine ourselves to our own ground, protect it as it can and must be protected, not meddle in the feuds or fights of these savages, encourage trade with them as long as they are peaceful towards us, and rigidly exclude them from all communication either to sell what they have got or to buy what they want, if they should become turbulent or troublesome.
text: These are the measures which are calculated to allay their natural fears of our agression upon them and to repel their aggression on our people. These will make them feel our power both to repel their attacks, and to exclude them from advantages they desire far better at less cost and with more justice than by annexing their country openly by a declaration or virtually by a partial occupation."
text: In March 1851 our troops were withdrawn and in that year twenty-two Naga raids were reported in which 55 persons were killed, 10 wounded and 113 taken captive. In 1853 as already related, an officer was stationed in the North Cachar Hills at Asalu, but he was instructed to regard the Angamis as persons living beyond the jurisdiction of the British Government, although in 1841 the watershed of the Barail range to the south of the Angami country had been authoritatively laid down as the boundary of jurisdiction between Manipur and Assam. A line of outposts with regular patrols was established between Asalu and Barpathar in the Nambar forest, but in 1857 these outposts were reduced and gradually withdrawn.