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: Solitary exploration along the Doyang River
medium: diaries
person: Mills/ J.P.Tsamsemo
ethnicgroup: Lhota
location: Diyung R. (Doyang R.)
date: 23.11.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Thurs. Nov. 23rd.
text: Up at 6.30 a.m. Fine morning, less misty than usual in the valley. At 9 I went off for a walk by myself, as Mills had gone fishing, taking sandwiches & bananas with me. I went up the river bed, wading when necessary & fording the river two or three times. Stream very strong & fording was difficult with the water half way up my thighs, I had difficulty to avoid being swept away. I passed Tsamsemo (a Lota) carrying a live Muntjak fawn & some other Lotas bringing in a dead macaque. I saw a large grey-backed Kingfisher (with white cheeks & throat), Spur-winged Plovers, Padi Egrets (with dark buff stripes down the neck), Pied & White wagtails, many Kestrels, a Goshawk, drongos, sandpipers, a Hobby, Yellow wagtail (grey head & back, white throat & sides, deep yellow breast) and a small Kingfisher (bright blue back & rump, chestnut breast and dark green wings) which was catching small fish in the pools. There were quantities of other spoor of Sambhar & Barking Deer, and footprints of macaques.
text: After reaching a big bend in the river, where fording was dangerous, I turned back a little, passed an old fishing-weir & crossed to the N'drung bank to get some shade for lunch. Then I climbed up the bank of old boulder-filled alluvium & wandered about over the jhum fields. Nearly every small dhan-house in the jhums contained a fire-making stick. I saw very few natives &, of course, could not converse with those I did meet. I returned across the jhums & struck the river exactly at our camp at 4.15 p.m. I found the Barking Deer fawn tied up in camp. When it was getting dark I strolled up the river again & sat for a while to see if any game or other beast would come out, but nothing turned up & I returned to camp when it was quite dark.