The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: visit to Kotsenyu
caption: trip to Kohima
caption: village fortifications
medium: diaries
person: Resillo
ethnicgroup: Rengma
location: Kotsenyu
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: We spent yesterday afternoon in Kotsenyu - a typical Rengma village. All around it were fortifications, a outer and an inner stone wall rather like the bailey walls of a Norman castle, with the jungle cleared between. The walls are about six feet high and eight feet broad. They date from head-hunting days, for the Rengmas were often attacked by the Angamis, the most warlike and independent of the tribes, who are their neighbours to the south. But the walls had been newly repaired, gaps filled in with stone and a fresh layer of turf laid over the top. Bill, with his tongue in his cheek, asked the villagers why they had done this and they all looked at each other and grinned. Then one said,'To keep out the cows.' There was a silence and Bill asked, 'Angami cows?' There was a general nodding of heads. It is clear that the Rengmas are wondering whether the political changes will lead to disturbances and perhaps to the renewal of village feuds. Resillo, the Rengma interpreter went on, 'Under our British we have had sixty years of peace, but we do not know what will happen now.'