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: Mills' summing-up of attempts to free slaves; injuries caused by panjis
medium: letters
person: PangtingFurer-Haimendorf/ C.
location: Chentang Sangpurr Panso Pangsha Ponyo Sanglao
date: 7.12.1936
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 1936
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
refnum: Mills Ms.
text: (25) Camp Chentang
text: December 7th, 1936
text: There has been a lot of happiness in our camp today. The Pipers are giving us an extra tune. It began when we got here.
text: We came easily down the long slope from Sangpurr we had climbed so wearily a few days before, then across a stream and up a short if very steep climb to this camp. We were all together once more now. The coolies we did not take to Panso and their guard were waiting for us and the signalling post (heliograph) was withdrawn today. Then there was "Girly" and Bert and one of the children and what was far more important, their relations. The child was the son of a man called Pangting who was here simply beaming. The child is dumb, but an absolute little lamb. The poor hangdog little wretch had become a laughing baby. He came and sat with me and played. "Girly's" parents were supposed to be dead and weren't, they were here as large as life. Even the unutterable "Girly" herself looked quite attractive with happiness. Her mother was almost speechless. We musn't forget "Bert".
text: It appears that that incredibly ugly youth has a wife whom he thought had been killed in the raid, but now she is alive and well, even he smiled. Just before the little party set off ahead of us to their home, "Girly's" mother told me that the slave we have been trying to get back from Burma was also her daughter, and begged me to get her back. I could only say I would do my best.
text: Two hours later a real life drama happened. The poor little slave girl from Burma was brought in. How glad her mother would have been! But they will meet in a few days. I do feel rather proud of getting her back from miles inside Burma, without any reference to the Burma Court.
text: It was all done by judging Naga character and guessing that Pangsha and Ponyo in Burma would keep their word.
text: The only slave left that I know of is the one Sanglao have got. We had never even heard of the village before, and had no rations left to get there.
text: After the show I feel I have not lived in vain. I have actually found and got into our own lands 5 children and 2 adults and have caused 2 more children to be returned to their parents. All have been saved from a life of drudgery and disgrace and very likely from human sacrifice.
text: I forgot to tell you that the Baron got 4 heads for museums during the battle of Pangsha and carried the basket himself all through the battle!
text: Panjis are a great nuisance with Sangpurr and Chentang at war. The place is full of them, and several coolies have been injured and will have to be carried in litters.