The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

part of original tour diary of Lt. R.G. Woodthorpe 1876

caption: Mixed receptions from various groups of Nagas, further complicated by language problems
medium: tours
person: Ogle
location: Yungphong (Chamba) Yangching (Yangtung) Yangnyu R. (Yangmun R.) Shakchi (Chaksu) Jakphang (Jakfang) Ukha (Okhah)
date: 20.3.1876
person: Woodthorpe/ R.G.
date: 1875-1876
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: (63) Monday 20th.
text: (Fine all day but very thundery at times and hazy. Road good. Height Chamba at 9.30 a.m. 3010/2960 M = 2985. about 200 houses. ditto Yangtung at 3 p.m. 2860/2800 M = 2830 about 60 houses. River Yanga? (Yangmun) at 5 p.m. 1480/1460 M = 1470. ditto at 9 p.m. 1360/1370 M = 1365. ditto at 6 a.m. 1365. Min = 53o.)
text: Up early. Transferred a few points to quarter inch board for Ogle and started about 8. Some fellows met us on the road but bolted as soon as they saw us leaving a spear, fowl etc. on the road. About half a mile from the village came across 3 warriors in the jungle on the right and several more in front on the road but they displayed peaceful wishes and hurried on before us to the village. We probably surprised them in an attempt at ambush. Waited till 11.45 (ie. two and a half hours) for 2 boras of rice. A man put on his war dress and bringing panjis about 4 feet long planted them by twos at intervals here and there and then with shield in hand went through jooming operations looking cautiously about in the meantime and suspending his jooming every now and then to have a round with an imaginary enemy from Chaksu always ending by taking his head. He had previously explained this simply but thought, I suppose, we should understand it better if he appeared in full costume down to a helmet with a coronet of red hair. He said by signs that every seer of rice was gained at the risk of the life of the cultivator, and consequently they had not much to give us. We gave them some salt in return. They gave us eggs out of which a live chicken came on the shell being broken.
text: We went on to the next village plane tabling on road and while they were collecting rice had tiffin. Left at 3 and came down to river which has very large open reaches of sand and stones and level bits of country on either bank. It is a large stream here with a strong current and evidently has a long course. Large bodies of Nagas were assembled in two places at the river, one from Jakfang on a trading excursion to Yangtung. They retired when they saw us and we did not come across them, the other from Okhah were (64) encamped at a fishing weir. We camped close to this and they left it on our approach and while some waited on the hill above and gave a war cry, others stood at one bend of the river and waved boughs. I went up a little way towards the former to find the road and ran back to see if they would come down. They did a little way but waved boughs, apparently to intimate that we need not run, there was nothing to be afraid of. Had hair cut and a good swim in the river.