PU (L). HENZAKAM PHIEMPHU (1878 - 1963): THE GREAT RUNNER (DAK HARKARA) OF ZOU GAL

 

Pu. Henzakam Phiemphu was born in 1878 at Tuikhaam Village (an abandoned village between Geljang and Khienglam Village)
and the second Son of Pu. Awnzaneh Phiemphu and Pi. Nemngai Mantuong. By the year 1917, Pu. Henzakam was about 39
years old, still single, restless and a great hunter by inherent character.They’ve abandoned Tuikhaam Village and were
living in Sehbem Village which was later renamed as Muollum Village. Sehbem Village enumerates of approximately 22 houses
and Pu Salun (Pu. Henzakam Uncle) was the Village Chief at that time.



In Manipur, the uprising against the British spread like wild-fire by the end of 1917 particularly in the Thadou, Haka
and Zou inhabited areas. After the fall of Gotengkot Fort, the British Armies trooped towards the Singngat Zou inhabited
areas and stationed/ built a solid Camp at Mawngjang, which is about 1.5 kms away from Sehbem Village, where in
Pu. Henzakam Phiemphu dwelled. The remnants of this Camp can be seen still.

One day, Pu Henzakam ventured out to the Jungle for hunting and came across this newly built British Camp at Mawngjang.
Being cognizant of the British intention, Pu.Henzakam took no risk in wasting time and  immediately rushed to his Village
and alert the Villagers of the British Armies presence nearby. Those days, the Zou Rebellion Armies were based at Hiengtam Fort,
the last strong standing Fort under the leadership of Pu. Goulun (Chief of Hiengtam) and Pu. Langzachin (Chief of Behiang).
The Sehbem villagers stand no chance to fight against the mighty British Armies and hence decided to pass the message and seek
help to the Zou Rebellion Armies at Hiengtam. Pu. Henzakam, being the bravest, strongest and most qualified runner, all
alone ran through the thick jungle for days, risking his life to pass on the message to the Villagers and Rebellion Armies
at Hiengtam. He had a Chilly and Charcoal bind with hair, tying it between his thigh and reaching his lower back which Signifies
`War is Coming’. On reaching Hiengtam Village, he met the Zou Rebellion Armies and explain everything he had seen. The Zou
Rebellion Armies immediately decide to attack the British Camp at Mawngjang and trooped towards the British Camp the very next
day. They attack with full force while the British Armies were having Lunch. After a long fierce firefight, Pu Henzakhup and
Pu Luntun from the Zou Rebellion Armies were killed and many British Armies were believed to be death or severely injured.
The Zou Rebellions however have to retreat due to excessive resistance from the British Armies. The British were better armed
and equipped and the Zou Rebellion Armies does not stand a chance. While retreating from the British camp, they come across a
British Army who was out carrying water in Sehbem Stream and killed him instantly. The blood of this British Army filled the
stream and remains undrinkable for days. They also spotted another British Army hiding in the branch of a tree and shot him,
however no body was found and was assumed to be injured and not dead. The attack at Mawngjang Camp by the Zou Rebellion Armies
angered the British Armies and on fear of retaliation, the Sehbem Villagers fled immediately and take refuge at Ballei Village
(now in Burma) though some Villagers stayed back under the leadership of Pu. Henzakam. However with the British Armies marching
towards Sehbem, Pu. Henzakam along with some Youths were forced to hide and take refuge at Ballei Village. The British then
takeover Sehbem Village (now Muollum Village) and set up a Camp. Setting up Camp at Muollum, they carry forward attacks to Buhsau
and Singngat Villages and further to the Hiengtam Fort. The Ballei Villagers later moved to Sieldai – Tungkuo – Lohlai – Sumtui
- Khienglam and Munpi Village and stayed in Munpi till the end of Zou Gal. They moved back to Muollum (new Sehbem) in the year
1931 where Pu. Suohzathang, Eldest Son of Pu.Salun ruled over the Village till his last breadth. In the year 1953,
Pu. P. Lunchinthang was handover Muollum chieftainship and continued until the year 2003.
Pu. Henzakam was the only known brave Dak Harkara/ Runner in the history of Zou Gal who played a very vital role in this Rebellion.
Only through him, not just the Zou Rebellion Armies in Hiengtam were alerted but rest of the Singngat Zou inhabited areas and
villages.
Pu. Henzakam was a brave, strong and tall man with a height of about 6.3 inches. He is famous for his Hunting skills, bravery and
looks, locally termed as `PASALPHA/GALHAANG’. His Hunting records still stands today and can be seen in his Grave Stone till date.
Below are the Animals he have hunted down as listed in his Grave stone by his Eldest son Pu. P. Lunchinthang
·         Deer – 233
·         Stag/ Swamp deer – 161
·         Monkey – 84
·         Porcupine – 63
·         Wild Boar – 58
·         Bear – 53
·         Langur – 43
·         Tiger – 20
·         Lion – 12
·         Hornbill –5

He is known and popular to have a Hunting Magical Power. Though he may be gone and not famous like most of the Fighters, he deserved
to be recognized as one of the most important Zou Gal Fighters of all time.

Compiled by:
P. Kamkhankap Zou and P. Hangmuanlal Zou (P Lalboi Zou)

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