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: Ill health amongst expedition members; comments on duties of S.D.O.; meetings and gifts
medium: letters
person: Furer-Haimendorf/ C.Smith/ Mr.Williams/ Maj.Ngaku
ethnicgroup: ChangYimsungr
location: Kuthurr Helipong Chingmiren Mokokchung
date: 18.11.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 1936
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Mills Ms.
text: (6) Camp Kuthurr
text: November 18th, 1936
text: The poor Baron is in bed. He looked very green at breakfast. His trouble is a chill on the stomach. It was frightfully cold at Helipong and he is terribly careless about putting on a coat when he is hot. When he is tired he just "flops" and doesn't worry about anything.
text: Smith also complains of feeling unwell. He was not well enough to do any work when we got into camp, but quite fit enough to eat a large helping of tinned salmon. He then retired to bed, but I made him get up to see the Gaonburas and accept their presents.
text: It has been a pretty hard day. After a fine night it poured with rain while we were breaking camp - a miserable thing at the best of times. To add to our delay Smith was late for breakfast (to Williams' annoyance), so that the servants were late washing up and packing. However, we just got away on time and dropped 3,500 ft. to a stream, where we had our first rest. The drop from 7,000 to 3,500 ft. was too much for Smith's nose which bled furiously!
text: Then we started up our 2,500 ft. climb. On the way we went through Chingmiren a Chang village where we were royally entertained, as it is Ngaku's ancestral home. His grandfather founded it. This is a Yimsungr village.
text: We got in about half-past two and had our lunch towards three - tinned salmon as aforesaid: Williams doesn't like a sandwich lunch.
text: That over, I went straight into the village with an escort and paid visits. Smith retired to bed to sleep! I've never missed a chance of visiting a village in my life, and what use Smith thinks he is going to be as S.D.O. Mokokchung I can't imagine. It is very much part of his job to get to know the trans-frontier people with whom he will have to deal. It's hard work at the end of a long day, I know , and I was pretty weary when I got back for a bath and a cup of tea about five.
text: Then I had to meet people and receive the presents, a mithan, two pigs, a goat and eight chickens. Then I watched the collies doing alarm practice and then I felt my physical activities for the day were over, and I settled down to plans and political discussions. No wonder I slept well at night!
text: Kuthurr were quite friendly, but a little nervous. All women except the Gaonbura's wives had either bolted or shut themselves in their houses.
text: I got a very nice hat made of the skin of the scaly ant-eater.