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: photography and curiosity about it
medium: books
ethnicgroup: Kalyo Kengyu
location: Panso
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: When I begin taking a few photographs among the crowd collected outside the camp, my camera attracts the interest of the Panso men. It is hopeless to try to explain to them exactly what I am doing, but I seize on my green filter as something they might understand, and satisfy their curiosity by letting them look through. The tinted landscape creates great hilarity, and each warrior wants to try, until one man -- turning my hand impatiently, the better to see -- feels my wrist between his fingers. He finds its thinness much more interesting than the distorted view, and hastens to tell the other bystanders of the curious phenomenon, whereupon they all chatter excitedly and each wants to touch me, and feel my bones for himself. This interest is becoming altogether too personal. And I feel that at any moment these brown hands, clasping heavy dao, will itch to test the comparative frailty of my bones. Hastily I make for the camp.