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: Passing a wild bees' nest; Balfour has malaria
medium: diaries
person: Mills/ J.P.
ethnicgroup: Ao
location: Chantongia Merangkong
date: 9.11.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Thurs. Nov. 9th.
text: We left Chantongia for Merangkong (c. 8 miles, c. 3000 ft.o.d.) I rode all the way, feeling very tired, aching & sleepy. We had to pass close to a wild bees' nest in a hole in a tree trunk, & we had to proceed with great caution in absolute silence, as these bees are most aggresive & have sometimes even stung people to death. We filed by one at a time, the Nagas covering their heads with their blankets & blankets were thrown over the ponies. We got past without accident & I remounted & rode up to the bungalow at Merangkong. By that time I was very shivery & aching all over & feeling very queer. I lay down on the bunk & Mills took my temperature (103o) & diagnosed malaria. I turned in in my clothes, just as I was, & Mills piled blankets on me, to make me sweat. I was very restless & feverish & barely half conscious all day, but in the evening, after a tremendous sweating, I felt better. But the day was lost & I missed the chance of seeing Merangkong & an Ao dance which had been arranged & had to be put off.