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FRONTIER RELATIONS AND FEUDATORY ESTATES.
The largest and most important of the Native States bordering
on Bengal is Nepal, whose territory ep' subtends the divisions of Patna and
Bhaugulpore. Political relations with Nepal are under the direct control of the Government of India in the Foreign Department, and the only questions that arise between it and the Government of Bengal are matters of extradition and boundary.
To the east of Nepal lies Sikkim, a small Himalayan State in gikkim subsidiary alliance with the British
Government, with which communication is kept up through, the Deputy Commissioner of Darjeeling. An annual payment, recently raised to Rs. 12,000, is made to the Sikkimputi or Lord of Sikkim, in consideration of the Raja's position as former ruler of the hill territory of Darjeeling and a submontane tract on the plains, called the Morung. Through Sikkim lie the most promising routes for trade with Lhassa and other parts of Thibet. At present, however, the Thibetan passes are closed to ordinary British subjects though an active trade is maintained in certain articles by Booteas and Thibetans.
Bordering on Sikkim, and bounding the division of Cooch Behar Bhatail_ and the Kamroop district of Assam,
"'' lies Bhutan, a large independent State
with which we have had intercourse from a very early period of our rule in India. Its territory occupies the whole of the Himalayan ranges between Bengal and Thibet for some four degrees of longitude. Repeated outrages on our subjects by the hillmen led from time to time to punitive measures on our part, chiefly consisting in the annexation, temporarily or permanently, of the various dwars or submontane tracts with the passes leading into the hills. The rude reception given to the embassy of the Hon'blo A. Eden in 1863 led to war and the ultimate confiscation of the whole of the dwdrs. As, however, the Bhiitanese depended mainly upon these for their revenue, it was arranged to allow them annually a subsidy of Rs. 50,000 duriug good behaviour. This gives us an effectual control over them, while the occupation of two strong positions at Buxa and Dewangiri within their frontier serves also as material guarantee against future aggression. The following represents in tabular form the principal facts regarding our relations with Sikkim and Bhutan.
East of Bhutan the Suh-Himalayan ranges are occupied hy various „ . _. , ,.. tribes of hiihnen, with whom the civil
Sub-Himalayan tribes. /« » t-. j T 1 ■
officers of Uurrung ana .Luckimpore are in pretty constant communication. In the times of the Assam Rajahs most of these tribes had acquired a right to levy from the villages on the plains certain petty dues, the collection of which led to frequent quarrels and outrages, and it has for many years been the policy of the Government to commute the claim to collection of this posa, or blackmail, for money payments, which are made to the chiefs by Government, only so long as they conduct themselves peaceably.
The first of these tribes on the confines of Bhutan proper is a clan Towan Bhut«as °* Bhuteas dependent upon Towang
owang u as. an(j tributary to Thibet. They have
no connection with the Bhutan Government. A considerable trade between Assam and Lhassa is carried on through them. They receive an annual payment of lis. 5,000 in lieu of posa formerly collected by them in the Kurriapara Dwdr. They are generally quiet and friendly. Eastward of these are the Bhuteas of Rooprai Ganw and Sner Char Dwar Bhuteas Ganw, who are independent of Thibet,
uu"" known as the Char-Dwar Bhuteas.
They used to draw posa from the Char Dwars of Durrung, and now receive Us. 1,740 annually as compensation for its stoppage. Beyond these are the Thebengea Bhuteas, a small clan, who in like manner draw Rs. 145-13 from our treasury. These also are not troublesome as a rule.
Eastward of these again, and to the west of the Bhoroli River, Akas are the Akas or Hrusso, a clan which
as' at one time gave considerable trouble
by their raids upon the plains. They are at present, however, peaceable, and draw annually Rs. 668 in lieu of posa. Their language shows them to be cognate to the Garos and Koches.
Eastward of the Bhoroli, as far as the upper courses of the Sundri,
in North Luckimpore, are the numerous u' cognate tribes of Dufflas. The consti
tution of the Dufflas is very democratic, and every little village is independent of its neighbours. The extent of the sub-division may be gathered from the fact that there are 238 petty headmen who draw between them compensation for posa amounting only to Rs. 2,543. The Dufflas have generally been pretty well behaved, but the connection between the hillmen and certain colonies of the tribe on the jilains leads now and then to quarrels and outrages calling for repression and punishment. A serious affair of the kind has occurred, and we are now at war with them.
Of apparently similar stock to the Dufflas are the Abors and Miris, Abors and Miri their neighbours to the east. The
"""1UU ' Iri9- Abors generally occupy the inner hills,
while the Miris not only keep more to the skirts of the plains, but even occupy villages well within our settled tracts. They are the gobetweens and interpreters of the Abors in their intercourse and trado with Assam. The Abors are a dangerous and sulky race, over whom we have at present little hold. They have committed frequent raids and been the cause of more than one frontier expedition. Since 1862, however, they have observed fairly agreements then made, by which they receive annually certain small presents of cloth, hoes, and other articles and keep the peace along their own border.
The hills which close the north-east corner of the Assam valley .... . are occupied by various tribes of
Mishmis, who are on the one side in communication with Assam and on the other with the Chinese province of Batang. Their habitat is from 96° to 97° 30' east longitude and from 27° 40' to 28° 40' north latitude. The Tain, Mezho, and Maro clans have not been as a rule troublesome, and come down pretty freely to our bazars. But the Chulkattas, or crop-haired sept hate raided repeatedly, and till last year were forbidden to pass the frontier posts.
The tract of country near Sadya, north of the Brahmaputra, and
south of it also to a certain small extent, amp is colonised largely by Khamptis, a race
of Shan descent, professing the Buddhist religion. These were immigrants from Borkhampti, and in the later days of the Ahom Government had considerable power in and about Sadya. In 1839 they rose against the British officers and surprised the post of Sadya. Since the punishment thereafter inflicted on them they have had little political importance. They are peaceable subjects, though they defend their own villages very successfully against Mishmi incursions. They are a civilised and educated people, with a language and literature of their own.
The principal tribe in the Sadya sub-division south of the Brahmaputra is that of the JSingphos, supposed IDgp os' to be identical with the Kakus or
Kakhyens of Burma, whose chief habitat was on the great eastern branch of the Irrawaddy. In the early days of the British occupation the Singphos gave much trouble, and, aided by the Burmese, assumed at times a very threatening strength. They held largo numbers of Assamese slaves, whose release by our forces caused them temporarily much loss. They have for many years past been loyal and quiet. We collect no revenue from them, but they submit to our political control.
In the hills to the south of the Singpho country, and thence west
ward as far as the Ifliasi Hills, are asfts' found the many tribes known to us
genetically by the name of Naga, who are distributed over the mountain system that lies between Upper Assam and Burmah. Of great portion of these tribes but little is known. The Nagas of the Patkoi, on the south frontier of Luckimpore, are inoffensive and numerically weak. On the frontier of Sibsagor we come to a collection of clans over whom our officers had at one time considerable influence, which has unfortunately of late years been allowed to be weakened and which we are now seeking to regain. These Nagas trade freely with the plains. Of the tribes behind these to the south we at present know little. To their west is the Naga Hills district, where, since 1866, an officer has been stationed in political oharge of the tribes between Munipore and Assam, and whose presence in the hills has put an end to the raids of the Angami Nagas, which had long been the terror of Nowgong and North Oachar. It is by exploration from the Naga Hills district as a base that we hope to learn more of the trihes between Sibsagor and Burmah. Attached to the Naga Hills district on the south-east are the Kookie colonies of North Cachar to be noticed again presently.
Between the Kolliani and Dhunsiri rivers, on the borders of Nowgong, are the Ilengma Nagas, a small and inoffensive clan fast merging into ordinary peasantry.
The Garos inhabiting the extreme west of the mountain system
on the south of the Assam valley were for long years a source 01 danger and annoyance to the plains of Goalpara and Mymensing. Mr. David Scott, the first Commissioner of Assam, made great efforts to conciliate and reclaim them with apparently some success. But after his day they seem to have been left very much to themselves. They carried on a considerable trade in cotton with the plains; and might perhaps, had they been left alone, have settled down peaceably enough. Unfortunately, however, the encroachments of the neighbouring Bengali zemindars proved a constant source of irritation, and raids were of frequent occurrence. In 1866 an officer, Lieutenant Williamson, was posted in the hills, who succeeded in bringing many villages into voluntary subjection. The growth of his influence alarmed the communitiesin the heart of the hills who knew least of us ; and, as they assumed an offensive attitude, it became necessary to coerce them. This was very successfully done by a police expedition last year, and the Garo Hills have since settled down quietly under the Deputy Commissioner's rule, and become in all respects a British district. Our relations with them have now ceased to be political.
To the east of Cachar lies the native state of Munipore, which is gte under the direct political control of the
ulnpore' Government of India, and is therefore
not dealt with in this report. The hills to the south and west of Munipore, and much of the Koukie9 great belt of highland and forest lying
00 ie*' between South Cachar and Chittagong
and Burmah, are inhabited by tribes known to us by the generic name of Kookie. This appellation, as that of Naga further north, covered a great number of different clans, often hostile to each other. The tribes between Cachar and Munipore are known as Koupooee, mostly subject to Munipore. North of these, on the high range that skirts the valley of Munipore and the Barak as far as the Angami Nagas, are the Quoireings, who trade both with the Nagas and our district of Cachar. South of the Koupooees used to be the Khongjais or Kookies par excellence, divided into Thados, Tlangums and so on; and south of them lay other tribes better armed than they, who have within quite recent years gradually ejected or absorbed them and taken their place. Large colonies of Kookies have under this pressure settled in Cachar and in the hills to its north. The Kookie tribe which now occupies the lushais tract south of Cachar is known to us as
'' . 'Lushais,' and has given much trouble
both on the side of Cachar and of Chittagong, and been the cause of several military expeditions of which the Administration Heports contain accounts. On the Cachar side the clans may be roughly divided