The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Fourteen. The Rescued Slaves
caption: questioning the slaves
medium: books
person: Pongwei
location: Chingmei Pangsha Saochu
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The Chingmei men did not understand the language of the captives, and so it had been impossible to explain to them the change in their fate. Perhaps they thought that these curiously pale people, with the bewildering behaviour, were those notorious adepts in human sacrifice to whom they had been sold. Our Konyak dobashi Pongwei talked the language of Saochu, but their minds were so dimmed by fear that at first they could not grasp what was said. Patiently and slowly Pongwei continued, and only when he asked the two older slaves about their experiences did they seem to understand. Then they explained haltingly that after the burning of Saochu, they had been hurried to Pangsha by the raiders. No, they had not been too badly treated, and had always had enough to eat, but the Pangsha men, although not afraid of the young women and children running away, had thought the man might try to escape, and had hammered his knees till he was quite lame; even now he could not walk very well.