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: Ghoorkha ceremony; visit to Maharaja's palace and Monkey Tope, and to gaol; Manipuri nautch
medium: diaries
person: MangaljaoJolly/ MrJolly/ MrsAmery/ MrsHutton/ MrsHutton/ J.H.Gimson/ Mr
location: Imphal
date: 29.9.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Fri. Sept. 29th
text: In the morning the Ghoorkhas held a great sacrificial ceremony, when they decapitated with a special sword several oxen, whose heads were tied to a stake. A single blow struck off each head. Also scores of fowls and ducks were decapitated. A very gory scene which I did not attend. Instead, I went with Mangaljao to see the Maharaja's palace, which is not very impressive. It stands in a large garden space with a temple on one side & a Durbar Hall (open & of small size) on the other. A small, wired- in tank is stocked with Pintail ducks & Grey-lag geese (with bright red beaks). The 5 wives of the Maharaja have separate bungalows. Europeans are not allowed to enter, or even touch, the palace for fear of defilement! I visited the stables which are poor. In a field nearby I saw H.H.'s elephants - 4 adult & 2 young. One bull had very large tusks. Later I saw them out for exercise, the mahout standing on the bare back of the big tusker. Next I visited the gaol, where convicts were working at revolving mills for extracting mustard-seed oil; weaving, carpentry and chair-mending; also dhan-pounding with a rocking-beam pestle