Daphla - Encyclopedia




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DAPHLA (or [[Dafla) Hills]], a tract of hilly country on the border of Eastern Bengal and Assam, occupied by an independent tribe called Daphla. It lies to the north of the Tezpur and North Lakhimpur subdivisions, and is bounded on the west by the Aka Hills and on the east by the Abor range. Colonel Dalton in The Ethnology of Bengal considers the Daphlas to be closely allied to the hill Miris, and they are akin to and intermarry with the Abors. They have a reputation for cowardice, and as politically they are disunited, they are at the mercy of the Akas, their less numerous but more warlike neighbours on the west. Their clothing is scanty, and its most distinguishing feature is a cane cap with a fringe of bearskin or feathers, which gives them a very curious appearance. The men wear their hair in a plait, which is coiled into a ball on the forehead, to which they fasten their caps with a long skewer. In 1872 a party of independent Daphlas suddenly attacked a colony of their own tribesmen, who had settled at Amtola in British territory, and carried away fortyfour captives to the hills. This led to the Daphla expedition of 1874, when a force of 1000 troops released the prisoners and reduced the tribe to submission. According to the census of 1901 the Daphlas in British territory numbered 954, the tribal country not being enumerated.

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