The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf, Naga diary four

caption: description of swidden fields and path
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Punkhung
date: 5.3.1937
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 12.2.1937-31.3.1937
note: translated from german by Dr Ruth Barnes
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: It was about one o'clock when we continued on our way which now went uphill with few interruptions. Soon a large new clearing opened before us, tall trees were stretching their naked cut arms against the deep blue sky across which now white puffy clouds were moving. The Punkhung people have cleared an entire mountain slope and our path winds itself upwards right through this shadeless chaos of (137) fallen tree trunks and dried branches waiting to be burnt. In the distance we can see a pair of hornbill birds flying over the forest. All around there is green wilderness. Only here the earth appears naked and brown, robbed of its blanket. From the distance such a freshly cleared hill slope looks as though it has mange.
text: When we stepped back into the forest we groan up the steep path. It already is extremely hot and I can think with dread what this trail must be like in July. Finally we reached the height where some Punkhung boys are expecting us with madhu. After a few sips I pass my chunga on to Monda whereupon he pulls out his dao and neatly cuts off the area where my mouth has touched.