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: tour in Yimchungr country
medium: diaries
person: Aokukyu
ethnicgroup: Yimchungr
date: 15.11.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 15 November. Yimchungr Anr.
text: After yesterday's rain the night was bitterly cold, but we woke to a serene cloudless morning. The furthest hills seemed only a few miles away and the merest gauze of mist was stretched across the valleys. Every day the scenery has this same exhilarating quality and yet every day it is different and the views constantly change. Today we walked along a high ridge between two rocky river valleys. At their junction we dropped down a steep path to the river bed and then proceeded along it. Mithan were lazily drinking in the river and cunning fish-traps had been set at every rapid. It was pleasantly cool in this deep valley in the shade of the hills and the tall grasses with their silky purple tassels rippled on the banks in a fresh wind.
text: As we move from village to village the Naga telegraphic system operates. When we are apparently miles from anywhere an interpreter will give a high pitched wavering cry. Almost immediately a faint reply comes from the far hills and by the time we near the next village headmen are waiting. To my ear all these cries are alike, but for Nagas they are as clear as words. Today on hearing a faint cry in the hills I said to Aohukyu, 'What was that?' He at once replied, 'Oh some villagers are scaring away a kite that has killed some chickens.'