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: A walk in the jungle near the Dikhu river
medium: diaries
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching Dikhu R.
date: 13.11.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Mon. Nov. 13th.
text: Fine morning. I sketched the tattoo-marks of a Konyak from Wakching. Then I went for a walk by myself downstream along the left bank of the Dikhu for 1/2 mile & then turned off into the jungle following a faint, narrow track until I reached a small tributary stream. I followed this upstream along the dry exposed patches of river bed & largely by wading. It was very beautiful; jungle on all sides, through which the stream formed a 'lane'. In many of the sandy & muddy tracts I saw quantities of elephant-spoor, both old & quite recent. I followed these cautiously for some distance. At various points the elephants had come down one bank, crossed the stream & clambered out on the other bank, with much skidding in the slippery mud. The jungle-scrub was smashed down into great 'tunnels'. Most of the tracks were of single elephants. There was one notorious solitary bull-elephant in the neighbourhood, which had been proscribed on account of the damage he had done to camps etc. He had only one tusk & was well known as a dangerous beast. Perhaps it is as well that I did not come up with him, as I had no rifle. Tracks of Sambhar & Barking Deer abounded & I saw the pug-marks of a large leopard, or perhaps, a small tiger. Both of these are numerous in the Dikhu valley. I could find no wild mithan (Gayal) tracks. Some Huluk Gibbons were very noisy in trees nearby. Squirrels, of medium size & very small were playing around. I went a couple of miles up this stream & then turned back for fear of losing my way in the jungle. Got back to camp for lunch. There was a great hullabaloo in camp, due to a Red Wild Dog having been seen on the opposite bank. Most of the Nagas went after it unsuccessfully. I caught a glimpse of it, but hadn't time to get the glasses on it. Though not uncommon, these hunting-dogs are rarely seen here. In the afternoon I sat & wrote up my notes on the banks of the Dikhu above the camp.