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 Chipoketama: burial and houses
medium: diaries
person: Hutton/ J.H.
ethnicgroup: Rengma <NakedAngamiSema
location: Phek (Phekrokejama) Chipoketami Tizu R. (Tuzu R.) Lophoma
date: 21.10.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Saturday Oct. 21
text: Tibbu turned up this morning without explaining his disappearance. We left Phekrokejama at 9 a.m. and rode to Chipoketami (13.5 miles) very slowly. The track was mainly high up along the right bank of the Tuzu R.
text: We passed through an area of mixed jungle & jhum, with very fine views. Heard many Huluks calling. I saw a few raptorial birds, some buzzard-like, others resembling kestrels; also a flock of scarlet minivets with dark heads, the females and juveniles lacking the scarlet body of the males. We had to wait for lunch till nearly 3, as the coolies had not arrived. Our coolies were Naked Rengmas from Lophoma & were very varied in facial type, some with very aquiline noses, others with broad, concave noses, protruding lips, &, in some cases, decidedly wavy hair. We photo's some of them in profile & full face. I went round Chipoketami village (mixed Angami & Sema) after lunch. The burial of a man was in progress & a large crowd was keening around the grave. The body had been swathed in cloth & was lying at the bottom of a deep grave outside the house. The filling in was quickly done, & three tall bamboos were erected over the grave, two carrying the heads of recently-killed mithan, the third bore the man's shield, ceremonial tail and other personal effects. Then the whole raised earth-mound was cased in with large stones in platform shape. Other similar graves were about the village; one of them having fire-making sticks in addition to other trophies. I went to the gaonbura's house, carved with mithan heads, ceremonial 'tails', etc., and drank zu with the gaonbura's wife & looked around the large two-roomed house. (