The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty. With Pangsha's Enemies
caption: camp outside Panso
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Kalyo Kengyu
location: Panso Pangsha
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: We are not afraid of any resistance, yet the enthusiastic welcome of the inhabitants of Panso takes us completely by surprise. They have seen the smoke of the burning Pangsha in the distance, and are beside themselves with joy at the defeat of their enemies. There is a certain maliciousness in their remarks on Pangsha's ruin when they meet us before the village; and we soon realize that it is not altogether without reason, for early this year a troop of Pangsha men, appearing before the gates of Panso and challenging them to fight, had taken without any losses to themselves no less than twelve heads. The Panso men were inside the strong fortifications of their village; why, then, we asked, had they ventured outside? But Panso prided themselves; they were famous warriors, they said, and could not allow such a challenge to go unanswered. Well, Pangsha had taken twelve heads, but the white men have burnt her to the ground, and she has paid for those last insulting remarks her warriors had thrown over their shoulder as they left: "We only wanted to show you what sort of men we are; you have nothing more to fear, only be careful! Don't follow us." Sadly the men of Panso tell us they had not had the courage to follow and take revenge.
text: Now we have destroyed their enemies, and the people of Panso joyfully acclaim the victors. They build us a good camp on a nearby hill, and come in a long train bringing pigs, rice-beer, and water, singing all the while a strange work-song that resembles nothing so much as the desperate baaing of lost sheep -- so strange a song that even our porters find it funny, and spend a long time trying to imitate it.