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 Melomi: village handicrafts, houses and morungs
medium: diaries
person: Hutton/ J.H.
location: Primi Meluri (Melomi)
date: 19.10.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Thursday, Oct. 19
text: We started from Primi at 8.30 a.m. for Melomi (c. 11 miles). Downhill for an hour, uphill for nearly an hour, then down for half-an-hour & up for 3/4 hour. We halted & drank zu, & then had about 1.75 miles to Melomi, which we reached at 12.30 p.m. Most of the way had been through jhum land with patches of jungle at intervals. Blazing sun. We had heard Huluks calling soon after starting. While passing the cultivated areas I examined the split-bamboo clappers set up for bird-scarers, which differ from the type usually seen in the Naga Hills. There is a fine view of Primi from a spot about 2 miles from Melomi. Melomi is a large village & I went all round it during the afternoon. I watched the women weaving, pounding dhan etc, & the men making mats & baskets. I photo'd some of the backs of the houses which had platforms erected on piles, extending from the apsoidal zu store-rooms. The piles compensate for the falling away of the ground at the backs of the houses. I also photo'd a morung with wooden pillar in front carved with a buffalo's head at the top & the figure of a dog at the bottom; and with horizontal beam over the doorway, carved with numbers of human heads in relief.
text: There are several 'streets' in the village, and the grain-stores are in large groups away from the houses. Heard Barking-deer in the evening.