The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book : Return to the Naked Nagas (1939;1976)

caption: Chapter One. The Naga Hills
caption: met by policeman at Manipur Road station
medium: books
person: Mills/ J.P.
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Would Mills, knowing of my coming, have arranged for some sort of conveyance to bring me to Kohima? Without a useful knowledge of any Indian language I felt strange and rather uncertain. I deeply mistrusted the little Assamese I had learnt from a Bengali student in London. That I could negotiate the purchase of chickens, eggs, and bananas and was conversant with the ways of addressing superiors, equals, and inferiors, seemed to me of little use in arranging for the transport of my sixteen pieces of luggage. In 1936 Manipur Road was a rather insignificant wayside station and an unknown European alighting was not an everyday occurrence. My feet had hardly touched the ground when a small policeman in an immaculate brown uniform ran up to me. Saluting, he handed me a letter, and promised in quite understandable English to look after my luggage. At first I was astounded by the Mongolian features of this man. Later I discovered that he, like most members of the Assam military police, was a Gurkha from Nepal. The letter was from Mills, who apologized for not coming to meet me, but told me that a lorry would bring me and my luggage that very same morning to Kohima. Enclosed with this letter was a pass, an indispensable document when entering the Naga Hills District.