The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Cautious approach to Pangsha and meeting with village envoys
medium: tours
person: Mongsen/ of PangshaSangting/ of PangshaWilliams/ Major
location: Langnyu R. Pangsha Noklak Yimpang Patkoi R.
date: 25.11.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 11.1936-12.1936
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: 25th November
text: To the Langnyu river below Pangsha (East of sq.84) - 10 miles. We were moving, with occasional halts of not more than ten minutes from 6:30 to 2:30. With camp to make it was too late to attempt to go up to the village and deal with it then.
text: Our path led between the two khels of Noklak and along the slopes on the West branch of the Langnyu. We advanced with extreme caution as Pangsha have an unrivalled reputation for ambushes, and one scratch from one of their arrows is fatal. We saw and heard nothing till one of their scouts on the Pangsha-Noklak boundary called back to his friends behind to announce our approach. He withdrew, and it was not till 12 o'clock - two hours later - that we saw a party of Pangsha men. Yimpang, before they had been won over to our side, had been told all Pangsha's plans. There were two alternatives. One was to entice us into an ambush by showing a salaami, and the other to receive us as friends and cut us up on our return journey. True enough, the Pangsha men showed a white goat conspicuously and called to us to come on. We did, very cautiously, and four men came up to talk. One was Mongsen, who with Sangting, is the ringleaders [sic] in Pangsha's ruthless raids. They said we were their elder brothers and their fathers, and that they were delighted to see us. They also told a whole pack of lies, such as that they were not in Noklak last night (we having seen their fresh tracks this morning) and that the remaining slave girl had been sent for from across the Patkoi, but had not come. I said their conduct, and their insults to Government, and their threats to wipe out any village which helped us were so outrageous that I intended to punish them. I then sent the four men safely away.
text: It is worth noting that before the envoys got anywhere near, a Yimpang gaonbura we had with us disappeared to the near side of the column saying he would certainly be killed by Pangsha later if he were recognised as having helped us. A little later we cut a path down to the open Langnyu valley and went on up stream along it, thereby avoiding contact on bad ground with a large force of armed men we had seen crossing the river to block the path they expected us to follow. These men were moving while we were still talking to the envoys, and there is not the slightest doubt that Pangsha intended to get us off our guard and then attack us. By cutting a path down to the open valley we completely outmanoeuvred them. While we were getting into camp a large armed party collected on a spur above some coolies who were cutting bamboos for our perimeter. Major Williams thereupon moved out the Lewis gun section to cover the path down. Three men, furious at seeing their bamboos cut, came down it brandishing spears and obviously intending to get a cooly's head if they could. Two short bursts at long range sent them back. It was difficult to see well from below, but apparently two men fell and picked themselves up again.