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: journey back to Mokokchung
caption: relics of the Japanese invasion
medium: diaries
person: Houseman/ Major
location: Yekhum Sanis Tseminyu
date: 9.9.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 8 September. Phek.
text: All the way memories of the Japs have been crowding in on us. Every village has either a story or a relic. On the road we meet Nagas with British gas-capes, Jap caps, water bottles or knapsacks and many villagers have Jap rifles.
text: This was not our first encounter with the Japs. On our way to Kohima, villagers of Yekhum and Sanis described how the Japs had come there, marching along the bridle-paths or spreading out through the jungle. One of the head men proudly showed us certificates from British officers thanking him for hospitality and for helping in the transport of wounded to the hospital at Jorhat. At Tseminyu, the caretaker of the rest-house apologised for the damp worm-eaten condition of the register in which all travellers enter their names and business. He had buried it for safety, he said, when the Japs occupied the bungalow. It was also at Tseminyu that the Nagas helped the British to kill a number of Japs and then hung their heads on the village head-tree. They were most annoyed when 'Major Houseman' ordered them to remove the grisly relics. They did not realise that Government feared, not only that the old zest for head-hunting might return, but that if Nagas began to take heads on a large scale, the Japs might take atrocious reprisals on the Nagas themselves.