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: mounting tension
medium: books
person: Chingmak/ of Chingmei
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Quite suddenly the path opens out into a clearing and our presumed enemies stand before us, still far away, but clearly visible as they brandish their spears and dao. Shall we fire? The panji that blocked our way leave us in no doubt as to their hostile intentions. We might have to pay dearly for a hand-to-hand fight in the jungle. On the other hand, their obviously troubled behaviour seems to point to uncertainty. We halt. Surely they see that there are many of us. Yes, there is a movement in the crowd, and three men separate themselves from the others. What are they calling to us? Only Chingmak can understand. Where is Chingmak? He is in the centre of the column with the porters, but now he comes forward, as once more the faint call comes up to us.
text: "They ask if we want peace or war," translates Chingmak "and (132) look now, they are breaking branches -- they wave them over their heads. That means peace."