The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

Typescript copy of extracts from letters from J.P. Mills to Mrs Pamela Mills (in England), 1936

caption: Description of life on the march and in camp, comments on colleagues
medium: letters
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.Williams/ Maj.Smith/ Mr.
location: Phire-Ahire Thungare Zekwera Mokokchung
date: 14.11.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 1936
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Mills Ms.
text: (2) Camp Phire-Ahire
text: November 14th, 1936
text: We had our bellyful of hills today, not a hundred yards level in 10 miles. First we dropped 2,000 ft. to a stream and climbed 1,500 ft. to Thungare, then down another 1,500 ft. to a stream which is the frontier, and up about 3,000 ft. to our camp, a fine spacious one.
text: We were all pretty cooked, a change into a dry shirt and rest, sandwiches, and the Baron and I went to look at the village. Every one is so friendly that we did not take an escort into the village, where the Gaonbura gave us an exhibition with a crossbow, the popular weapon in this part of the world.
text: Then I came back, found my tent up, took off my boots and slept like the dead till tea. I think tea is the best meal of the day on these shows, and there is no doubt it does cheer one up.
text: It was more than cloudy at times. We had heavy rain for our slide down the first mile, and the coolies must have had hell with their heavy loads. But they have worked splendidly, and have kept well closed up, an important thing when a column can string out to nearly two miles.
text: More presents of food, three enormous pigs, a cow, three goats, ten chickens, some excellent fish, the kind you and I ate at Zekwera.
text: I must go across now and join our little mess for a pre-dinner drink, all "shop" banned. We gather every evening before dinner. Williams is pretty tired, I fancy. I heard his call for the Hospital Orderly to massage him. The Baron lay down and went to sleep the moment he had finished his sandwiches, just where he was sitting! Smith is fairly cooked , I fancy , but he bustles round far more than he need. Your tough Philip is going very strong, thank you, though he is a good deal older than any one else in the whole outfit. We sat over drinks till 9.15, a very cheerful party- soup, fish, barking deer and dried fruit. We are very short of vegetables, Smith having arrived in Mokokchung too late to have any ready yet. So we had a tin of Baked Beans! We have got a branch of the Canteen in Camp, and draw things as we need them.
text: The Baron is always full of stories. He wears Austrian national costume whenever he goes into the country in Austria. Apparently everyone does, a few women have their costumes in silk and bright colours.
text: The men wear leather shorts which must never be cleaned, and are only really smart when fifteen years of wear have put a bit of colour into them!
text: We've got a short march tomorrow. The Column goes down a valley and up the other side. The Baron and I are going round through some villages, a little longer but less steep.