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 Frontier Affairs
caption: Nagas on the Lakhimpur frontier
medium: reports
person: TingnaiNapangNeedham/ Mr
ethnicgroup: PolungiyaBormithuniaRangpang
location: Jaipur Hukanjuri T.G. Tourak T.G. Tikak Colliery Namdang Colliery
date: 1898
date: 1899
text: 58. During the year information was received from the political jemadar at Jaipur that a party of about 17 Polungiya Nagas owning allegiance to the Borduaria Naga Raja had been attacked in an ambush on their way back to their chang from the plains. They travelled by the usual path and got as far as a hill call Panthai where a band of about a hundred Bormithunia Nagas, headed by Tingnai the brother of the Bormithunia headman, were lying in wait for them. The Polungiyas were allowed to approach to within a few yards of the men in ambush alongside the path and then three shots were fired, one of which grazed the cheek of a Polungiya. Tingnai is said to have been one of the men who fired. The Polungiyas were so demoralised by the surprise that they ran away and left behind their baskets of rice, cooking pots, beads and clothes and some three hundred rupees in cash which they had earned on tea gardens. Some fled to the hills and some came to the political jemadar and told him the above story. The jemadar went out to enquire and found the scene of the occurrence deserted. There were four baskets on the ground a a quantity of rice, husked and unhusked, was strewn around. He also picked up what looked like a used gun-wad. The place of occurrence is said to be about two miles inside the Inner Line. As the Bormithunias belong to the Namsangiya Naga Raja and the latter was supposed to be at the bottom of the alleged fight, the Deputy Commissioner of Lakhimpur sent orders through the jemadar to the headmen of the Borduarias, Polungiyas and Bormithunias to come into Dibrugarh and explain their conduct in the matter. A few days after the issue of the order to the jemadar, one Napang, the brother of the Borduaria Naga Raja, came to Dibrugarh with about twenty followers, six of whom were of the Polungiya's party said to have been attacked. The Polungiya Naga who was supposed to have been shot in the cheek was examined by the Deputy Commissioner and Mr. Needham and they found that the mark on his cheek was not the result of a bullet or shot wound. The headmen of the Namsangiyas and Bormithunias did not come in although a second order was sent to them. The Namsangiya and Bormithunia Naga Rajas were, therefore, collectively fined Rs.500 by the Deputy Commissioner for disobedience of orders and the fine was approved of by the Chief Commissioner.
text: In November 1898 both the parties, Borduarias and Namsangiyas, came in and were confronted by the Deputy Commissioner who recorded their statements. After taking down their statements, he came to the conclusion that although the evidence before him was vague and could not be considered satisfactory in an ordinary trial, still he had little doubt that the Bormithunias did actually attack the Polungiyas at a place within the Inner Line. He held, however, that as the Inner Line is an imaginary one traversing thick jungle, too much stress should not be laid on the fact that the Bormithunias had started operations a mile or two inside it. He considered further that the fine of R.500 already imposed was a sufficient punishment and therefore dismissed the Namsangiyas with a caution that if they misbehaved again, their present misdemeanor would be visited on them then. The Chief Commissioner approved of the Deputy Commissioner's proposal that the fine should be realised by stopping the annual subsidies which are paid to the Namsangiya and Bormithunia chiefs in respect of the Hukanjuri and Tourak gardens, and orders to this effect were passed.
text: The political jemadar at Jaipur recently reported that while some of the Borduaria Nagas were coming down to the plains, they were waylaid by Namsangiyas and had two men wounded. The matter was under enquiry at the close of the year.
text: During the year Nagas were employed in increasing numbers on tea gardens in clearing jungle and building huts.
text: The Railway Company reported several thefts from their collieries at Tikak and Namdang. Mr. Needham's enquiries showed that although the Rangpang Nagas were generally believed to be the offenders, there was no evidence against them.
text: A Naga namghar was built at Margherita at a cost of Rs.200 to replace the old one which had tumbled down.