The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary three

caption: story of jungle spirits which look after people lost in jungle
medium: diaries
location: Kohima
date: 7.1.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 28.11.1936-11.2.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: (148) Kohima 7/1/1937
text: This morning a Sema dobashi came to Mills and told him a remarkable tale which is connected to the belief of most Naga in spirits of the jungle. Some weeks ago a man called Gholho from the village of [] left his house in the middle of the day through a crack in the back wall. He told people who saw him walking through the village that he was going into the forest. When he did not return after a long while his clans-people went out to look for him. This was still on the same day but they could not find him. However, the people of the neighbouring village [] heard calls from the jungle like "Father, Father" and also "Hebo, Hebo", which is the name of Gholho's brother. These calls could be heard for eleven days from the day of his disappearance onward but Gholho could not be found. Finally the men of his village found his dao, his cloth and his basket next to a hitherto unknown cave, but there were no signs indicating his death. As the ground is very dry right now footprints cannot be seen but broken twigs showed that he had gone around near the cave. (149) Everyone in the Sema country is certain that Gholho has been abducted by jungle spirits.