The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Thirteen. The Camp On a Peak
caption: leaving mount Helipong in the rain; Yimsungr country
medium: books
ethnicgroup: YimsungrChang
location: Kuthurr
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Again that night storm raged round our tents and even covered as we were with every available blanket we spent another cold night. In the morning a thin, penetrating rain fell noiselessly, and nothing was to be seen of yesterday's view. We dropped down on the other side of Mount Heiipong; perhaps this side was not as steep as the one we had come up, but the roughness of the path made walking difficult. We soon left the country of the Changs, although we were to cross back into their territory later, and our march that day and our subsequent camp were in Yimsungr country, the land of a scarcely-known tribe which in some respects resembles the Changs. A little uncertain of our reception, we marched the whole day on our guard, and the suspicious attitude of the villagers of Kuthurr where we arrived that evening, left no doubt that we were no longer in friendly country. They were, it is true, not altogether unpleasant, and even sent us the customary gifts of pigs and chickens, but we felt that this courtesy was dictated rather by the size of our column than by any spirit of generosity or welcome. Had we arrived singly, or even in a small number, there can be no doubt that their joy at such unusual guests would have taken other forms, and our chances of ever leaving Kuthurr would have been slight, for our skulls would have certainly occupied places of honour in the men's house. In fact we mistrusted the Yimsungr as much as they seemed to mistrust us, and when building our camp we took particular care, reinforcing it with a strong palisade of spiked bamboos.