The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Defences and head-taking; Control Area boundary; attempts to allay hostilities, through go-betweens
medium: tours
person: Williams/ MajorSmith/ Mr.Furer-Haimendorf/ Dr C.Hutton/ J.H.
ethnicgroup: YimsungrKalyo-KengyuChangKonyak
location: Chingmei Yimpang (Yimbang) Waoshu (Waoshu) Saochu Pangsha Ponyo (Himbu) Tobu Noklak
date: 22.11.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 11.1936-12.1936
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: 22nd November
text: Halted. Major Williams, Mr. Smith, Dr. von Furer-Haimendorf and I visited Yimbang with 50 rifles and came back via Waoshu. This meant a walk of 12 to 14 miles, with countless stiff climbs and steep descents over shoulders. Yimbang has never been visited before. It is a mixture of Yimsungr and Kalyo-Kengyu with a few households of Changs. Our reception was not exactly enthusiastic, but a tune on the pipes quieted nerves all round. I noticed a lot of houses roofed with planks, as beautifully cut with a "dao" as they could be with any saw. Hand arrows are used for defence here, and the village is surrounded by a double fence with a ditch in between, all bristling with "panjis". On the head tree were five heads taken from Saochu in the raid in which Yimbang joined Pangsha. As the raid was a gross act of treachery against a village with which Yimbang were at peace, and as it was a slave raid I had the heads removed from the tree and taken outside the village. They will not be hung up again. The head of men had been scalped to provide hair for trimming dao-holders, but those of the women were not scalped, as Saochu women cut their hair short. From Yimbang we were able to look down on to unsurveyed country and put one or two villages approximately on the map. I was also able to decide on a suitable northern boundary for a proposed extension of the Control area. The Burma boundary was quite close and on the other side lies Himbu, which has given so much trouble in recent raids. We were told that a column from Burma with 50 mules visited it last year, but the visit seems to have had singularly little effect. We returned via Waoshu, a Chang village with a lot of Konyak runaways from Tobu in it. It is on an immensely strong site on a narrow ridge. Now that Pangsha are on the war path the defences on that side have been strengthened, and look absolutely impregnable to a Naga attack. Dr Hutton passed through it 13 years ago, and another tune by a rather breathless piper pleased an already friendly populace. When we got back we heard that Noklak (East of sq.60) had sent a war party to move parallel with us on the range to the East and watch our movements, and that as we walked out of Yimpang three Noklak men walked in: the three said that Noklak had sent a party to help Yimpang in case we attacked it. My object in visiting Yimpang first was to show that any village which gave up their slaves had nothing to fear from us. We are due to pass through Noklak the day after tomorrow on our way to Pangsha, and I am doing my utmost to get in touch with Noklak, and through them with Pangsha, and explain that, while we refused to be deterred by threats from visiting a village, as we have no intention of attacking anyone who behaves in a friendly manner, Noklak men can visit small Yimpang with impunity, but Yimpang are afraid to visit powerful Noklak. I got them however to promise to send an old lambu tomorrow. Lambus are supposed to be sacrosanct, but several have been killed round here lately and the old men may refuse to go. In that case I shall approach cautiously and try to get in touch. Noklak and Chingmei are at war, and Noklak have so far refused to clear their portion of the path of panjis and traps, and Chingmei are sending out a party tomorrow to see how far they can make the road safe for us.