The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Seventeen. Pangsha Burns
caption: burning of Pangsha
medium: books
person: Smith
ethnicgroup: Kalyo Kengyu
location: Pangsha
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: In the upper khel Smith and some of the porters round up a few Pangsha men hiding among the farthest houses, but they flee into the jungle, and then he too sets a light to the dry palm-leaf roofs.
text: From every side come sounds of explosions -- the detonations of burning bamboo poles. The crackling and rattling grow into a wild roar, and the ash, carried high into the sky by the clouds of smoke, falls again as the fumes disperse, covering us with little grey flecks like flake in a snowstorm. Clouds of smoke darken the sun, and the light round the village changes to a ghastly reddish violet. It is an unreal and theatrical play of light that, in the midst of the friendly, sunny day, pours out fantastic colours in eccentric patches over the landscape. Our primitive instincts sometimes take pleasure in works of destruction, and these hours of Pangshas ruin are not without fascination. What we do not realize is that the clouds of smoke are seen far over the land and that in distant villages the people are singing and dancing from joy at Pangsha's defeat.