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: the frontier
medium: diaries
person: Chuba
ethnicgroup: ChangYimchungrKalyo Kengyu
location: Nantaleik R. (Tizu R.)
date: 9.11.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 9 November. Chingmiren.
text: The exciting part of the tour has now begun. By 4.30 am the camp was stirring and I lay in bed listening to the sounds of wood being chopped, the chink of cooking utensils, the gurgle of water in bamboo pipes and the low hum of voices round the crackling fires. I could not sleep for excitement.
text: An hour later the sepoys and porters set off and we soon followed them with a small guard. Although the sun was up it was bitterly cold and the leaves were white with dew like hoar-frost. We left dark footprints at every step as though we were walking on snow. For the first hour we trudged along field paths through the Anangba crops with monkeys howling in the forest above us. Job's Tears and maize ten feet high arched over the path and I felt like Alice when she had eaten the mushroom and was smaller than the grasses. The path rose steadily up and up.
text: Suddenly the fields ended abruptly before a wall of forest. The headman who was leading the way halted and told us dramatically that this was the frontier. As soon as we had crossed it I felt suddenly elated. It was as though one were suddenly free and the world left behind. Here was the Forbidden Land which I had so often gazed at across the valleys wondering if I should ever get the chance to cross this boundary and see the country of the Changs, Yimchungrs and Kalyo Kengyus.
text: We climbed up between enormous trees through forest that can never have been cut. Gradually the forest itself began to change; the huge trees remained but the green plants and small flowers gave way to an undergrowth of slim thorny bamboos like (137) those in a Japanese print. Pale yellow orchids drooped showing that mist hangs here for the greater part of the year. As I jumped over a tiny stream, Chuba told me I was stepping over the Tizu river for this is its source.