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: to Anangba via Holongba and Sangsoma; village hospitality
medium: diaries
location: Holongba Sangsomo (Sangsoma)
date: 7.11.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 7 November. Anangba.
text: We spent the whole morning covering the six miles to Anangba as in both Holongba and Sangsoma we had to stop and visit the headman and elders. The Sangtams seem the most hospitable of the tribes. All Nagas are hospitable, but here (131) in every village pigs and cows have been killed to welcome us and the women press plantains and eggs into my hands. They entertain with easy manners and without any embarrassment. One would think they had a European visitor every day. The women quietly refill the tankards and bowls while the men crack jokes and talk. Soon the house is overflowing as the neighbours drop in. These smoke-filled huts and the worn faces lit up by the flickering fire must be very like those of mediaeval Europe.
text: Most houses are hung with numbers of animal skulls; mithan, pigs, deer and antelope. The skulls of wild pig are kept quite separate from those of domestic pigs and are hung on a different wall. In the porches were strings of basket-balls with wooden heads beneath - the tallies of the heads a man has taken and the raids he has taken part in. Nearly every drum house had collapsed during the rains and we were told that they could not be repaired or rebuilt while the crops were still standing.