The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Chapter Twenty-five. Farewell
caption: parting from Shankok ; the happiest year of Haimendorf's life
medium: books
person: Shankok
ethnicgroup: Konyak
person: Furer-Haimendorf
date: 6.1936-6.1937
text: Shankok goes with me through the high forest where so often we shot green pigeons. We both have only one thought: goodbye for a long time, perhaps forever. To talk of something, we talk of Shankok's fields and the chances of a good harvest now that the spring is past; once more we count how many fields he possesses, it is about two hundred and fifty -- anything to avoid remembering all those evenings we have spent together, all the friendly talks and all the fun we have had. Such a happy time it has been. Does Shankok know that I have never spent a happier year?
text: But now it must be: "Thank you, Shankok. I know it is hard. But I will come again -- certainly I shall come again."
text: Neither of us can speak. I hold his hand. Tears trickle down his cheeks. He turns round. Only when I have gone a short way does he turn back and wave to me. Quite small he stands there on the slope, a brown spot against the green of the jungle. The sun is setting, and deep below me the golden ribbon of the Brahmaputra winds through the immense plains of Assam.