The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: scrap page from tour diary
medium: notes
location: Kohima Chakhabama (Chakharbama)
date: 15.1.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 2:10
seealso: (see also tour diary)
text: 15th January. Today I leave Kohima for the Eastern Angamis. These are markedly different from the others. I am eager to observe. We began by skirting the village and then went slowly down to a stony river. On the way was a field rest house with tin 'horns' and I was told that since a rest house is made by a whole khel and its object is communal convenience, no genna is necessary for the 'horns'. They are put up just for beauty, and to 'give the house dignity'. Out of Kohima the hillsides are wider and many tracts are under jhum. Little fires were sending up columns of white smoke and in one place two women were raking over the ashes. We rose quickly up the further hill and on the crest reached Chakharbama.
text: The bungalow has walls of mud and lathe and badly gaping holes. There is every sort of furniture except a bed.
text: Sat in the sun and let the view soak in. On every side the huge hills go tumbling into the distance. The nearer slopes are enormous hairy humps - with here and there a tiny glimpse of rice fields and for the rest brown grassy tracts broken with trees and burnt jhum. The nearest village is 4 miles away and it is the awful emptiness of the hills, their sterile beauty, which chiefly impresses itself on the mind. Once or twice the ho-hi-ho- of Nagas toiling up a path came shrilly through the air. The tone was keen as a needle, and as mechanical as a bird. They were the only human noises in these great hills.