The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Sixteen. Into the Blue
caption: traps, bows and poisoned arrows, panjis
medium: books
location: Pangsha
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: The scouts are to help us find the way to Pangsha and to circumvent the obstacles awaiting us in hostile country. Nagas are expert in all sorts of tricks that complicate the passage of an unwelcome guest. They run strings through the dense grass of the paths, and a touch of the foot releases a poisoned arrow that pierces you in the ribs. They dig pits harbouring large spiked poles, and cover them with a thin grating and dry leaves, so that an unwary step precipitates the victim and he is impaled on the spikes at the bottom. A dangerous but favourite device consists of small bamboo spikes -- panji they call them -- with which the Nagas sow the ground, to spike the feet of the approaching enemy.