The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Four. Above the Clouds
caption: arrival at Wakching in thick fog; warned not to enter unadministered territory
medium: books
person: Mills/ J.P.
ethnicgroup: Konyak
location: Wakching
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: When we arrived at Wakching a teasing fog blotted out all vision. We were in the clouds, those clouds which lay only too often like a blanket over the ridge of Wakching. Whenever there was anything exciting to photograph, the clouds would rise from the valleys and hang about our mountain, until my subject was no longer exciting or there was absolutely no light left.
text: But on the first day of my arrival the fog showed some consideration, and as we reached the inspection bungalow, standing on open ground a little outside the village, the clouds broke, and the most magnificent view lay before us in the light of the evening sun.
text: East and south, slopes green with young rice curved into a deep wooded valley. It was the valley of the Sinyang River, and, standing there, Mills made me promise never, under any circumstance, to cross it. For the Sinyang formed the boundary between British India and the unadministered and partly unexplored territory, where war and head-hunting still run rife, and across it lay the promised land, that I was to look on, but not to enter for many long months. On the crests of the mountains, sweeping up from that valley, I could see with my naked eye brown patches that were neighbouring villages. Beyond rose the (32) peaks of a still higher range, lying not in Assam, but in Burma. The frontier running along the Patkoi Range was of little practical importance, for on both sides extended a more or less unknown area, and it was here that the maps showed white patches.