The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Eighteen. A Skirmish with Head-Hunters
caption: fight and flight
medium: books
person: MillsWilliams
ethnicgroup: Kalyo Kengyu
location: Pangsha
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: It seems that at last we shall come to blows with Pangsha. Today they will learn that a real fight does not in any way resemble the massacre of women and children they perpetrated in Saochu. But Williams and Mills take a much more serious view of the situation.
text: "Of course Pangsha will try to cut us off from the river. If they attack in the jungle, the result might be nasty for us. Look there! More and more men are pouring out of the wood -- there must be at least six hundred of them."
text: Six hundred of them! We take stock of our fifty-odd men.
text: "If we continue on this path, we can't reach the river before them. We must go down this precipice -- and as quickly as possible."
text: Every man turns where he stands and leaves the path to run down the slope, which falling steeply away is almost completely covered with fields. There is no path, but we run at random through the fields of giant millet as fast as our legs will carry us. The unrelenting and elastic stalks break back and hit me in the face, and every few minutes they seem, in some exasperating way, to get entangled in the basket on my back. (148) We reach the crossing of the path to the village half-way up the hill. There is no time to find out where the enemies are, but we hear them coming up the path, and any moment they will turn the bend of the hill. The way to the river is open. We have only to run straight, almost perpendicularly down. But for that free passage we have paid a high price; the Pangsha men have now an enormous advantage, they are above us, and we hear their war cries coming nearer.