Somewhere between 1930 and 1940, a rock monument was erected in the Wancho village of Senua. It was erected to honour Namsang, a powerful village of the Nocte tribe, who had helped them avert a British punitive expedition.
In the 1930s, a British official was killed by a group of Senua villagers. However, the British were unaware about who committed the murder. Nonetheless, they sent an search party to look for their missing official.
The Chief of Senua upon knowing about the murder, immediately sent out a messenger to his ally, Jowang Lowangdong, Chief of Namsang, and informed him of this incident and sought Jowang’s advise.
After receiving the news, Jowang held a Ngongthun, a meeting with the advisors. He concluded that, the British will eventually find out about the murder and they will launch a punitive expedition against Senua.
To prevent unnecessary bloodshed, Jowang devised a clever plan and conveyed the message to his Wancho counterpart. As per the plan, Senua should concentrate in preventing a British retaliation at all costs. In order to accomplish this, they had to get rid of the evidence of the murder first. In order to accomplish that, Jowang told them to hide the body in another village along with all the belongings of the dead British. Preferably, the village of their common enemy.
The British search party first contacted the Noctes. The Noctes and the British were in constant touch with each other ever since Miles Bronson, lived with the tribe in 1839. In addition to that, the Noctes were involved in the Anglo-Nocte Negotiations of 1876, which brought peace between the British and the Wanchos, and also led to the capture of four Wancho persons, who were actively responsible for the murder of Lt. Holcombe and eighty men of British East India Company in 1875.
The British sought the help of Namsang village to find their missing person. After days of searching, the Noctes conveniently pointed towards the direction of an enemy Wancho village. And as planned, the body of the British was found there, along with all his belongings. This was all the prove the British search party needed, and they launched a punitive expedition against the village.
In this way, Senua escaped British punitive expeditions with the help of the Namsang Noctes.
In and around 1933, Senua sent another messenger to Namsang, but this time it was an invitation to Jowang Lowangdong to visit Senua. The invitation was accepted with an open heart. The Chief of Senua had built a road made of bamboo to welcome Jowang to his chiefdom. A 100-year-old lady from Senua, Chajut Wangsu, recalls about a grand feast with gallons of rice beer, tonnes of pork, beef and fish, prepared for the guests and it was unlike any feast Senua had witnessed before. Expensive gifts such as headgear, animal skins, packet of salts, machetes, flintlock rifles, gongs etc. were exchanged.
The next day, in everyone’s presence the two chiefs headed towards the peak of Senua’s rocky settlement and erected a rather unique shaped stone as a sign of an everlasting friendship between Senua and Namsang. A throne, just above the monolith, was also built for the Nocte chief. Underneath the throne, there is a machete and a flintlock rifle, which was probably belonged to Jowang.
Senua had been an ally of Namsang since a long time. The entire Wancho tribe addressed Namsang as Lasa. There was another powerful Nocte village called Borduria, and the Wanchos called them Lanu.
Namsang and Borduria were ruled by brothers, but after the death of their father, Chief Lotha Khunbao in 1747, their relation turned south, and their enmity went well up to the second half of the 20th Century. Lotha Khunbao was the chief of undivided Namsang, Borduria, Laptang villages.
The year is not known, but one of the best instances, when Senua aided Namsang was when Borduria sent a guerrilla band to hunt some heads of Namsang villagers. This band would usually attack at the dead of the night and target whoever gets out of their house. The guerrillas were becoming quite persistent with their attacks and Namsang was unable to locate their camp. Therefore, Namsang called for Senua's assistance and even though, Borduria and Senua had a peaceful relationship, the latter answered Namsang's call.
In a joint operation that went on for days, Namsang and Senua finally located the guerrillas’ camp. The band was attacked at night and all were killed but one. The escaped guerrilla had recognized Senua by their colours and accent and informed his chief about the attack. Consequently, Borduria became hostile towards Senua. On one hand, Wancho villages such as Senua, Chopnyu, Ruchha etc. were the allies of Namsang and on the other hand, the villages of Chanyu, Chasa, Ngienu etc. were the allies of Borduria.
1. Wangpha Lowang (Namsang)
2. Fowang Lowangchha (Namsang)
3. Mankap Nokwoham (Ranglo-Rusa)
4. Butwang H. Lowang (Namsang)
5. Bolam Boham (Senua)
6. Chajut Wangsu (Senua)
1. The information regarding the relationship between Borduria, Namsang, Senua and other Nocte and Wancho villages, has been gathered from the village elders, the Block Educational Officer of Senua etc.
2. Jàwang Lowangdong died in a gun fire accident somewhere between 1935 and 1945. Since, his heir was young, his kin, Boangwang Lowang was made the chief until the heir comes of age.
3. The 100 year old lady, Chajut Wangsu of Senua, recalls the flying of planes overhead and the visit of the Namsang chief when she was in her teenage (15-19 years).
Songlong Thong, which is at least a couple of centuries old, is the first monument ever built by the Noctes. It commemorates the number of human heads collected by the warriors of Borduria in the bygone era of head-hunting.