The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Typescript - J.P. Mills, Tour Diary, November to December 1936

caption: Hospitable welcome and amicable meeting with local representatives; head-hunting; inter-village hostility; poisoned game trap
medium: tours
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ Dr C.Woods/ Col.
ethnicgroup: SangtamChangYimsungrSema
location: Chongtore Holongba (Halangba) Sangsomo (Sansomo) Anangba Phire-Ahire (Phire-ahire) Litsami Yamrup Houpu Sotokurr Katarimi (Katarami) Cheshorr Lirisu
date: 15.11.1936-16.11.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 11.1936-12.1936
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: 15th November
text: To Chongtore (sq.57) - 7 miles. The column went straight across the valley while Dr. von Furer-Haimendorf and I went through Halangba, Sansomo and Anangba. Though Chongtore and Phire-ahire have been visited before, and Colonel Woods must have crossed the ridge many years ago on his way from Litsami, we were assured that no European had ever before been into the villages we visited. We were overwhelmed with hospitality in the form of rice beer and hard-boiled eggs, and were able to persuade our hosts that we preferred to take the shells off the eggs ourselves. All these villages have long been at peace, and the few old skulls they still own are hung up in front of the village log-drum. Balls of bamboo strips preserve a tally of the heads burnt in the periodical village fires, and wooden heads those of skulls which drop from the strings and get lost.
text: The camp site was an excellent one. All neighbouring Sangtam chiefs came in, together with those of Yamrup (Chang) and Houpu (Yimsungr). The Sema-Yimsungr war pursues its uneventful course. Not long ago Sotokurr (sq.34) and Houpu (sq.33) combined to raid the Sema village of Katarami (sq.33). Katarami were ready for them and Sotokurr lost one head. A Houpu man, as angry as he was dirty, produced for my inspection a grazed thigh and a broken arrow. He had walked into a Cheshorr game trap, and would not have lived to tell the tale if the poisoned arrow had touched a vein; I refused to do anything.
text: 16th November
text: We halted to give everyone the chance of a rest and a wash. I visited Lirisu and Chongtore villages.