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: Wildlife and views around Cholemsen
medium: diaries
person: Mills/ J.P.
ethnicgroup: PhomChang
location: Cholimsen (Cholemsen) Mokokchung Mongsenyimti (Monsemdi) Yongyimti (Yongiemdi) Wokha Mt.
date: 4.12.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Mon. Dec. 4.
text: I started off 8 coolies with the loads, & at 8.45 a.m. started myself on 'George', & alternately rode & walked up to Cholemsen (9 miles; 18 miles from Mokokchung), mostly through jungle. As the village is not very interesting, being much spoilt by Plains influence, I went for a walk to look at the scenery & for birds etc. During the day I saw a large, yellow-naped, green woodpecker; a woodpecker with pied black & white back, red cap & blue cheeks & throat; several bright green Barbets with red caps, behaving like woodpeckers & investigating a nesting-hole; some birds of about thrush-size with scarlet & black body & longish scarlet tails; & others with black back & tail and yellow breast, sides & erectile crests; Racquet-tailed Drongos (Dissemuras paradiceus); common Black Drongos, whose very graceful flight when catching insects I watched for some time; Bulbuls in great numbers. Five Malayan Wreathed Hornbills (Rhilidoceros ) flew over me, their wings making a tremendous noise; I heard others flying near but not in view. Some large Green Pigeons with long tails (Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Sphenocircus apicauda) were greedily eating the fruit of a tall tree. A vulture flew overhead - the Plains being fairly close -; a Kestrel & some white-headed Laughing Thrushes (Garrulex leucolophus). I also saw a large black squirrel and two enormous earthworms (2ft 6in. and over 3 feet long respectively), some kind of Megaskolex, no doubt.
text: I wandered over some jhum land & met one of the dobashis, who had been with us part of the time on tour. I asked him to take a letter to Mills, as he was going to Mokokchung next day. A Cholemsen gaonbura brought me a fowl as a present. Mokokchung is clearly visible from the bungalow, the fort & surrounding houses, & also among the trees on the hill, the red roof of Mills's bungalow. The views around are very fine; the ranges from Mokokchung to Monsemdi and Yongiemdi being very clear, and, in the background, the Phom and Chang country. Wokha Mountain showed up to the south, and to the N.W. the Plains looked very near. Full moon at night and Barking Deer (Muntjak) calling. Very charming.