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: a tour round Noklak village - slate roofs; fortifications
medium: books
person: Mills
ethnicgroup: Kalyo Kengyu
location: Noklak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: While Williams and Smith rest in the shadow, drink rice-beer and try to get cool, Mills and I, forgetting our tiredness for the moment, embark on an ethnological tour of the village. Noklak considers the shortest possible line of defence a strategic necessity, and the houses are built closely crowded together. There is hardly a banana bush in the whole village, for in the narrow spaces between the walls there is no room for such luxuries. The houses are all slate-roofed, but the morung are thatched with palm leaves, and stand at the entrances to the village. The strongest fortifications lie towards Panso. Between two fences built from the outer ribs of a thorny palm there extend some three or four yards of dense impenetrable thicket, and the only way through is a covered passage with strong wooden walls, so narrow that only men in single file can pass through to the strong wooden gate.
text: Now that the excitement is over and our curiosity to see the strange village is somewhat appeased, we notice how exhausted we are. The short way to the camp, which our porters have already made quite comfortable, seems endless, and I can hardly put one (151) foot in front of the other.