The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Three. An Orgy in Stone
caption: ruins of Dimapur
medium: books
location: Dimapur
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: We passed through the arch of the gateway and found ourselves once more under high trees. No ruined wall bears testimony to the palace of the King who once received tribute from the whole of the Brahmaputra valley. For his capital was a bamboo city. Bamboo poles carried the wooden buildings, light and perishable, but singularly suitable for this damp ground, flooded again and again by the waters of the Dhansiri. My eyes fell on a tank overgrown with tangled masses of that peculiar vivid green that marsh-plants take when they creep along the surface of open water. What could have induced a people, living almost on the banks of the Dhansiri River, to construct artificial tanks within the precincts of their (26) capital? Mills offered a simple explanation. To build houses out of the reach of flood-water, earth must be heaped in great mounds and in the rainy season the resulting pits fill automatically with water. Not altogether unwelcome, perhaps, in the heat of the Assam summer.