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: Successful killing of leopard
medium: diaries
person: JanthaNihuHutton/ J.H.
ethnicgroup: AngamiSema
location: Dimapur Pfuchama (Puchama) Kohima
date: 26.9.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Tues. Sept. 26th
text: Packed for the third time for Manipur, but, again, the expected car from Dimapur did not turn up. So we unpacked again. The leopard hunt was renewed in the ravine at about 9 a.m. Hundreds of natives surrounded the Kloof & tried to get at the animal, which had probably been wounded the day before & had not left the spot. It was seen several times. I watched until nearly mid-day, when a shot from Jantha's muzzle-loading percussion smooth-bore crippled the leopard, which was then soon put an end to with spears. I went down to see the body, which had been nearly cut to pieces with spears & daos. A huge crowd of Nagas stood round the beast, but made way for me. I had Jantha called up & looked at his antiquated musket. He seemed very pleased with himself & with my interest. Many of the Nagas' spears had been 'blooded' in the leopard's body & the skin was absolutely ruined. It was a big animal. In the afternoon, Nihu, Jantha & a crowd of Nagas brought the leopard's body on a pole to Hutton's bungalow, to claim the Government reward of 10R. I photo'd the crowd, which included an Angami who had just killed his wife for no apparent reason. He probably just "felt like that". He belonged to Puchama village, a few miles from Kohima. There are now three murders & the shooting of the Sema boy yesterday ready for trial. In the evening I walked round the "Ladies Mile" in a fog & then went to see the improvised 'merry-go-round' (vertical type) on the parade-ground, which was working with much success & noise. A very cranky & 'problematic' affair worked by hand.