The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Pangsha's aggressive reputation; ritualized intra-village conflict; return of slaves; slave trading route to Burma
medium: tours
location: Panso Yakao (Yukao) Pangsha Kejok (Kejuk) Noko (Nokhu) Kenchung Wui Ponyo Patkoi Range Tsawlaw
date: 3.12.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 11.1936-12.1936
person: School of Oriental and African Studies Library, London
text: 3rd Dec.
text: To Panso (sq.1936). A pleasant and easy march of 5 miles ended in a spacious camp all ready prepared for us. We first went up to Yukao, which has never been visited before, but is most friendly. It is a colony of Panso. They have in their houses huge, padded crash-helmets which they wear for village quarrels. In these quarrels the use of edged weapons is forbidden, but you can hit your opponent as hard as you like on the head with a club. Hence the helmets. Panso, though very inefficient in bringing anything we wanted, gave us a great welcome as the conquerors of Pangsha. The story is worth recording as an example of the heights of insolence (and bravery) to which Pangsha had attained. Panso is very big and is reckoned a stout opponent in war. Yet Pangsha sent a large war party to them about the time of the raid on Kejuk. The intruders stood outside the village fence and challenged Panso to come out and fight. Panso accepted the challenge and lost 12 heads before they knew where they were. Pangsha waved the heads at them and said, "We did this just to show you the kind of men we are. We shall not trouble you again. Do not pursue us or we shall retaliate." They then went quietly away.
text: Panso confirm that Nokhu returned their slaves as soon as they heard we meant business, and since Panso would be only too glad to find any excuse to have their powerful neighbour burned I see no reason to disbelieve them. They say Kenchung has been destroyed, but that Wui has been rebuilt as the "sons" of Nokhu. Panso add that one child slave has not returned, but was sent into Burma through Ponyo and sold there. The excellent view of the Patkoi we get from here confirms the important fact that the 6000 feet Ponyo pass into Burma is the only feasible one for an enormous distance. All slaves go over it if they are to be sold in Burma, and perhaps the Burma Govt. could pay a little attention to Ponyo and Tsawlaw who are the forwarding agents.