The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - 'Diary of a Tour in the Naga Hills, 1922-1923' by Henry Balfour

caption: Visit to Angami Kohima: village doors, houses, food, weaving and embroidery, dyeing, graves
medium: diaries
person: Nikrihu/ of JotsomaHutton/ J.H.
ethnicgroup: AngamiKuki
location: Kohima
date: 15.9.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Fri. Sept. 15th
text: In the morning I went with Nikrihu to the Angami village of KOHIMA, situated upon a ridge high above the modern settlement. The entrances to the village are defended with thick, heavy wooden doors hewn out of the solid & extremely massive; elaborately carved in relief & intaglio; swinging on huge pin-hinges cut from the solid. The one by which we entered the village is carved with a pair of large mithan heads, the horns of each enclosing the figure of a warrior (one carrying a head in left hand). A spear-blade is carved on each side of each figure. Above there the sun & moon (repres. by concentric circles) & a row of human heads surmounting the whole. At the bottom are figures of humped cattle. This door is made from two tree-trunks. The village is a very large one (?800 houses). The houses are very close together & there are no streets, only very narrow trackways meandering vaguely among the houses & often very ill-defined, so that finding one's way about is very difficult. Houses rectangular & divided into 3 compartments with partitions of open cane-work or upright wooden beams. (
text: I returned to Hutton's bungalow for lunch. It rained hard part of the afternoon, but cleared after tea, though clouds created dense fog intermittently. I had a walk by myself over 'Kuki Picket'. Very pretty wooded scenery, the trees largely covered with epiphytic ferns. Numerous red-vented Bulbuls & large all-black crows (like ravens). Fine sunset effect with monsoon-clouds, thunderstorm & afterglow. Quite dark when I reached the bungalow at 7 p.m.