Diaries of Henry BALFOUR (1863-1939), anthropologist and museum curator
Naga Hills, Assam, 1922-2
Volume I: H. Balfour Diary Naga Hills 1922-23
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a note “From the CURATOR, PITT RIVERS MUSEUM / UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD / Telephone 2467”, which reads: “Drawings showing metallurgical processes are framed + displayed in the Southeast corner of the Top Gallery. It was not known that this diary existed when they were displayed.”]
If publication is considered,
look through drawers of
photographs, subjects, for
of a tour in the
NAGA HILLS, ASSAM
by Henry Balfour
Friday, Aug. 11th Went on board the P.+O. S.S. “Malwa” alongside Tilbury Dock. Cabin _____ [left blank] on Promenade deck. Lewis + F. came to see me off. Hauled out of Tilbury dock at 2.15 p.m.
Sat. 12th Sea moderate, raining, misty + cold. At noon, 49°33'N., 4°24'W., 317 run. Some gannets seen.
Sun. 13th Smooth, finer, some rain, warmer. Fog during night had delayed us. 45°07'N., 8°30'W., 316 run. Off Finisterre c. 7.30 p.m. Many Rorquals + dolphins seen, Stormy petrels + larger petrels.
Mon. 14th Fine, sunny, nice breeze, sea slight. Off the Birlings 10.30 am [sketch] Schools of dolphins. 39°10'N., 9°41'W.; 363 m. Little life seen except petrels, a single skua + dolphins. Sea at night brilliantly phosphorescent to a very unusual degree.
Tues. 15th— Off Tangier. 7.30 a.m. Very fine + smooth. Dolphins very numerous. Tarifa Point 8.15 am. Gibraltar, 9.30 am. Went ashore for an hour with Mrs. E.M. Campbell. Found it very hot on shore + dusty. Sailed at about 1 pm. Discovered that the Captain of the “Malwa”, W.R. LeMare, was the boy I knew 50 years ago nearly, at Macclesfield. Both delighted
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is the booklet containing the passenger list of the P.&O. S.S. “Malwa” leaving London 11th August and Marseilles 18th August 1922.]
to meet one another again. He insisted on my being transferred to his table for meals. We had a good talk about Macclesfield days + the Grammar School, etc. Hot at night + the ship vibrating badly (a characteristic of the “Malwa” which I had noted on the voyage to Australia in her in 1914, but which seems to have become more marked, making her very uncomfortable to travel in, especially in certain parts, e.g. my cabin, where the oscillation has ‘nodes’, as it were.) Apart from this vibration the “Malwa” is very nice + my cabin was excellent, being a corner one with 2 windows.
Wed. Aug. 16th Fine + warm, but with cool breeze. Hardly any life to be seen. Off Cape San Antonio (?) c. 11 a.m.
Thurs. 17th Arrived at Marseilles at 10 a.m. + went into No. 5 Dock. Stayed on board for lunch. Went with P.S. Quarry (of the Indian Police) and his niece, Miss M.A. Stewart, to the Colonial Exhibition, parts of which were interesting + well arranged. Returned on board for dinner.
Fri., 18th Went with the ship’s surgeon, W.F. Blandford (a Cambridge man) by 10.45 am train to Aix en Provence, where we visited the Cathedral + other churches + the Musée P. Arband, which has an interesting library + many objects of local interest etc. Very hot there. We took the 4.45 pm train back, arriving at Marseilles at 6.5. Blandford returned
on board + I went to the Exhibition by myself, but it was not at all interesting at night as nearly everything of interest was closed. I dined there in an ‘Algerian’ restaurant, food very bad. Ship still taking in mails at midnight.
Sat. Aug. 19th Warped out of dock at 4 a.m. Under weigh soon after. Fine day, light, cool breeze which held on throughout. 42°09'N., 7°22'[NW].; 122. Very little life seen, barring petrels, gulls + dolphins. Passing the Str. of Bonifacio at about 6.30 p.m. Have moved to the Captain’s table [Sir Malcolm + Lady Hailey, Miss Hailey, Mrs. Campbell, Miss Swann, Miss Skipworth]
Sun. 20th Sighted the Lipari Ids. c. noon. Stromboli on port beam at 2 p.m. (smoking steadily, but no big flow of lava). Sea very calm. Hot, but a light cool breeze. A few small flying fish, + one or two land birds seen, otherwise no life. Passing through the Str. of Messina at 4.15 pm. Rather hazy. Dolphins, gulls, terns and petrels. Etna not visible. [Noon, 39°01'N., 14°37'E; 383 run] [sketch]
Mon. 21st Fine, fairly strong breeze from N.; sea rough later. Noon, 35°51'N., 21.05 E.; 384 run. Did not see Crete, but the lights were visible from about 10 p.m.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of Corsica and Sardinia and the Straits of Bonifacio.---]
Tues. Aug. 22nd At sea; fine with light breezes. Ship doing slow time, the run being only 370.
Wed. 23rd Entering Port Said at 4 a.m. Got up + went on deck. Col. Ellis, Col. Tate, Mrs. Hicks + others left the ship. Did not coal + ship started again at 8 a.m. + entered the Canal. Pretty warm + very airless. Saw flamingoes in the lagoons on W. side immediately after leaving Port Said. Grey shrikes very abundant on the telegraph wires. Black-+-white Kingfishers numerous; a few Rollers + Hoopoes. Some fairly large sandpipers, a few swallows + many martins. Several large falcons + kestrels; numerous Kites; some gulls + terns. Egyptian vultures + another kind. Reached Ismailia about 1.30 pm, + the Bitter Lakes at 3.50 pm. Saw a very large jackal on the E. bank of canal before reaching Suez where we arrived at about 7.0 pm.
Thurs., 24th In the Red Sea. Good following breeze lasted nearly all day. Heat not excessive – c. 90°F.. 25°58'N., 26°00 E; 280.
Fri, 25th Light breeze from S.. Temperature at 2 pm, 91° (90° in cabin). A few flying-fish, gulls + some Killer-whales (Orca). 20°17'N., 38°44'E.; 395. Very hazy, probably from fine sand all the afternoon.
Sat., Aug. 26 Very hot night + morning. Off Jebel Tir about 8 am., + Jebel Zukur later; the Hanish Ids. about lunch time. Life plentiful. Masked gulls very abundant (Dark face back + wings, except for white-tipped secondaries, white collar, under-surface + tail). [sketch] Some very pale gulls. A few Tropic-birds. Black-and-white gannets, and brown Booby Gannets. All-black dolphins with long snouts leaping high in the air. A few bonito (?). Hazy from a heavy sand-storm + at one time very stormy-looking [Noon – 14°52'N., 42°12'E.; 386 run]. Perim on port-beam at 9 p.m. Very sultry till midnight, when temp. lowered rapidly.
Sun. 27th Arrived at Aden c. 4.15 a.m. Quite dark. Delightful cool breeze. Ship coaling. Lt. Com. Baillie Grohman left us to join H.M. Sloop “Crocus” on the Persian Gulf station, quite a loss to the passenger list. Johnson (Trinity, Cambridge) also left to transship for Abyssinia for duty at Addis Ababa. Did not go ashore. Aden seems well supplied with motor-cars, but camels still numerous for transport. Kites very numerous in the harbour, picking up flotsam in their feet + eating on the wing. Masked gulls plentiful. We left Aden at 9.15 a.m.. Cool breeze from S. or S.W.. Saw some bonito. A very fine Hoopoe flew on board when we were well out of sight of land of the Hadramant Coast + remained for some hours.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of a bird, labelled: “Pale-buff head + neck. Heavily black-barred back, Long crest, black-tipped.”---]
At noon - 12°50'N., 45°38'E.; 43 run. Very sultry afternoon + evening. Was much off-colour, from some slight poisoning, and did not dine.
Mon. Aug. 28th— Gulf of Aden. Much cooler; temp. down to 80° + even lower. Moderate breeze. In afternoon heavy rolling which lessened greatly in the evening. Tropic-birds (Phaetou), small + larger petrels [14°13'N.; 52°27'E.; 406 run]
Tues. 29th Fine; ship rolling heavily. 15°42'N., 59°25'E.; 414 run. Flying-fish, white gannets (heavily-marked with black), and fair-sized petrels. Sea moderated in the evening. Fairly cool. Had long talk with H.H. the Maharajah of Bikanir, who invited me to visit his state + stay with him.
Wed. 30th Sea quieted down a lot, but occasional heavy rolls. Close + stuffy atmosphere, 80° in cabin. Very little life. Sky mostly overcast. 17°25'N., 66°00'E.; 392 run.
Thurs. 31st Bombay sighted early in morning, but ship delayed entering + it was after 4 p.m when we tied up at the wharf. The Maharajah of Bikanir was garlanded + given bouquets by those who met him, but gallantly transfered the flowers to Miss Prince, Miss Swann + Miss Skipworth (who were to be married immediately). While watching the crowd on the wharf I noticed a very gorgeous person in scarlet on the quay and wondered what sort of oriental
potentate he might be. He came on board + after a while I turned round to find this embodiment of a tropical sunset bowing and salaaming to me + offering me a letter. He proved to me H.E. the Governor of Bombay’s chuprassie told off to look after me + very useful he was in clearing my luggage + helping me in many ways most efficiently. I gave the ‘sunset’ a tip + he appeared much gratified. Heatherington (of Grindlay + Co.) also met me + provided me with a native ‘bearer’ to serve as travelling boy. Heatherington took me to tea at the Yacht Club, a very fine well-appointed club on the harbour + close to the Taj Mahal Hotel. He also insisted upon my dining with him there. So I went back to the ship to dress + had to dig my things out of the Custom House to get at my clothes. Taxied back to the Club for dinner at 9.15. In the Club I found the Haileys + with them the Governor’s Military Secretary (Major Vaux), who had been searching for me to be of use. Very nice man. I taxied to the station to take the midnight Poona train. Major Vaux turned up to see me off + was most useful. My bearer not having turned up, having been seen very drunk in the station, Vaux told off another boy to go with me as bearer. The compartment in the train was very old-fashioned + looked like a cattle-truck, but was roomy inside but filthy. Another man from the ship was my fellow-passenger. My bedding was put out + I turned in.
Fri, Sept. 1st At the first station from Bombay, my bearer walked in to the compartment, just as though nothing had happened. How he got there I don’t know, but he seemed to be fairly sober. I gave him several jagged pieces of my mind, as I was furious at his having let me down at the start. Noisy, very dusty night journey, though cool in the early morning. Was called by bearer at 5.17 a.m at Talegaon station, dressed, + arrived at Kirkee station at 6 a.m. Chuprassies and a car met me + I was driven to Government House, Ganeshkhind, where an A.D.C. took me to my room, a very nice large one with very large verandah. Chota hazri was brought + after a bath I dressed leisurely for breakfast at 9 with the A.D.Cs (the Governor did not appear at breakfast). The house is very fine + spaciously built with fine state-rooms. The sentries (Bombay Lancers) looked very fine + supplied a splash of colour, as also the servants, all in scarlet. After breakfast I strolled around the gardens, which are extensive, partly formal + partly semi-wild. A quarry has been turned into a large bathing-tank. Lots of birds, kites, vultures etc. Many I could not identify. Minute striped Palm-squirrels everywhere. H.E. (Sir George Lloyd) materialized at lunch time + gave me a welcome. After lunch we sat + watched some symbolic dances, performed by various servants + saises of Government House, who are allowed to perform these dances once a year. Quaint costumes; drum-music. One dance symbolized a boating scene.
[---FACING PAGE: Newspaper photo clipping, showing “SIR GEORGE LLOYD, Governor of Bombay”.---]
with action of paddling etc; dancers all men, except 1 woman + 2 small boys. Another dance, by saises, was a Shiah ceremonial dance of a somewhat involved nature. After tea I had another stroll round; wired to E.; visited the stables, which are quite good, nice + airy. Large full-dress dinner-party in the evening; 42 sat down. Ceremonial etiquette strictly observed. Table decorated with orange + scarlet zinneas, which, with the body-guard of Bombay lancers, the scarlet chuprassies etc made a wonderful colour effect, predominantly scarlet. I took Mrs. Westmoreland in to dinner, + afterwards had a long + interesting talk with Mrs. Mead. Bed at 11.30 after a somewhat tiring 24 hours. Numbers of Fruit-bats (Pteropus) were flying about + quarrelling in the palms, making a lot of noise.
Sat. Sept. 2nd Good breeze blowing. Breakfast with the A.D.C.s. I had a walk to Kirkee + round about, + watched the Indian cattle + water-buffaloes. Saw quantities of mynahs, a moorhen (? Sp.) sunbird + lots of other birds, parakeets, quail etc. Grey birds known as the “seven sisters” very abundant + noisy (rather larger than black-birds) After lunch the whole house-party + staff motored to Poona Race-course to see the flat-racing. Excellent course + very well managed with a Totalizator as central feature. Saw very well from H.E.’s box at the finishing-post. A very good lot of horses + some excellent racing. Small dinner-party in evening. H.E’s orchestra (24 performers) played very well.
[---FACING PAGE: “Dinner plan” seating arrangement.---]
Sun. Sept. 3 H.E. went to church in state, with Bombay Lancers as outriders + scarlet liveries etc. I had a walk to the pass overlooking Poona. Got back in time for the Sunday parade of all the horses at the Stables at midday. Some very fair horses + polo ponies. Rain showers were frequent. After tea I went to the lawn-tennis courts to watch play, + then took Mr. Wilson (American Consul in Bombay) for a walk to the top a [sic] hill giving a fine view over Poona. Parbati Hill with its Durga temple showed up well. View fine all round. Small dinner-party in evening. I played billiards with Col. Heathcote (in command at Deol Ali) who has a house near Banbury. As I was leaving early next morning, I said goodbye to Sir George Lloyd, who had been extremely kind + hospitable, also to the genial + courteous staff (Major Vaux, Captains Rawstorne, Carmichael, Byron + Aird). Packed + turned in after midnight.
Mon. 4th Up at 6.15 am. Mr. Wilson, Col. Heathcote, Capt. Robb and I left by car for Kirkee station, to catch the 7.20 train. Major Vaux had found me a new bearer + had sacked the Bombay one, whom I finally discharged at Kalyan Junction, where we arrived at 10.40 am. Very fine canyon scenery passing over the Ghants + after reversing engine at the top we dropped down into the plains. Paddy fields everywhere, the paddy about 18 inches high. Quantities of Paddy birds (Ardeola Grayi),
large + small white egrets; a large flock of vultures together on the ground, small dull-coloured herons; a few wild peacocks etc. At Kalyan Wilson left for Bombay. Heathcote, Rodd + I lunched together at the station, they left by 1.15 train for Deol Ali, while I had nearly 6 hours to wait for the 4.29 pm mail to Howrah (Calcutta). Nothing to do; raining most of the time. Watched the hooded crows which were all over the station + which thieved food from the refreshment stalls. Goats strolled about the lines; kites sailing about in numbers. An ascetic was mumbling away + changing his clothes on the platform + picking up bits of grit from the filthy platform + eating them. Unsavoury person who looked a thorough humbug. But for the birds + natives Kalyan would be a dull place, worse than Bletchley! Finally I had a doze in the waiting-room. Was summoned by my bearer when the train came in. Just as I was getting into my compartment, Miss M. Prince hailed me from the next compartment, where she + her sister + the latter’s husband (married on Saturday) were, on way to Calcutta. I was also hailed by Mrs. Grevelink who was in the same train. I had her company most of the way to Howrah. Scenery fine, including ghant scenery with canyons and waterfalls. Later in the day cotton-fields + maize were dominant. Rain continued most of day. White vultures, Black vultures, Govindi Kites, Brahmany Kites, Egrets, Paddy-birds, mynahs, rollers, crows, drongos, parakeets. Hot but not unbearably, little dust. Coupé to myself with shower bath.
Tues. Sept. 5th Passing over the cotton + paddy fields of the Berar, the cotton increasingly giving place to paddy as one goes Eastward. Beautiful scenery, mostly very flat plains, with vivid greens after the rains. Deep red earth, maroon in places. Some of the small Kopje-like hill groups remind one of the Matopos, the Kopjes being formed of piled up huge rounded boulders of granite (?). Large areas of pure jungle – bamboos + varied timber trees – Tiled villages very picturesque. Arrived at Nagpur 9.15 a.m. Breakfast with Mrs. G. at the station, close to the fort. Scenery mostly paddy-fields. Mynahs (Acridotheres tristis) abundant, also crows, Kites, Egrets + paddy-birds. Several Brahminy Kites; a few storks + Grey Herons (A. cinerea). Rollers (C. indica) abundant; white + dark vultures, drongos (Dicrurus ater) + Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle raria). Large herds of cattle + buffaloes, the latter wallowing often in deep mud + presenting a very curious sight. Temperature hot but bearable; no mosquitoes on the train. Dined on board with Mrs. G. + Mrs. Fairweather (from Nairobi). Myriads of fire-flies (mostly intermittent flashes) among the trees + shrubs at night.
Wed. 6th In the train. Country flooded extensively; many villages completely waterlogged. Cultivation mostly rice-fields. The huts thatched not tiled as further west. Many fishing-traps in the flooded fields. Dug-out canoes made from Palmyra palm-stems; thick + rounded at one end, narrow + open (or stopped) at the other. [sketch] Many Brahminy Kites; jacanas, Little Cormorant (Ph. javanicus), + the usual paddy-field birds.
Arrived at Howrah (Calcutta) at 10.15 a.m., earlier that [sic] expected, so that Annandale missed meeting me. Took taxi to the Museum, sending my bearer with heavy luggage in a gharri. Interesting sight of traffic crossing the bridge over the Ganges; a dense mixture of motors, ox- + buffalo-carts etc, closely packed. Went to my room in Annandale’s flat (a splendid + very spacious flat in one of the oldest houses in Calcutta, at the back of the Museum). After I had changed + had a bath, Annandale turned up. After lunch we went onto the Museum roof-top to see the splendid view over Calcutta, + looked round the Museum. Later I had a stroll about the Maidan, saw the Victoria Memorial building – a fine domed building of white marble. Went with A to the United Services Club + met Coggin Brown + others. Dined with Annandale + Burnes at the flat.
Thurs. Sept. 7 Repacked for the Hills. Went to Cook + drew £30 + got tickets for self + bearer to Manipur Road. Bearer lent by Annandale to replace the Ganeshkhind bearer whom I had sent back (an excellent bearer whom I was sorry to lose). Taxied to Sealdah Station for the 4.36 pm train (Darjîling mail). On arrival at station I found that the boy had forgotten my cabin trunk. I dashed back to the Museum in a taxi (some miles distances), captured the trunk + flew back to the station + just caught the train, my things being flung in anyhow + anywhere. Never expected to get the train; awful rush. Crossed the Ganges at 8.10 pm. River very wide, very effective by moonlight. Dead flat country; palms, bamboos, bits of jungle + paddy-fields.
During daylight birds were very abundant – Egrets (large + small), herons, Pied Kingfishers, Black drongos, mynahs, Brahminy + Govindi Kites, etc. Also saw a Cormorant (Ph. carbo) on a small lagoon. A Jungle-cock was perched on telegraph wires (rather unusual I should think). Fire-flies in thousands at night. At Santahar at 9.48 pm., I changed into the Assam Mail, leaving at 10.18 pm. Compartment to myself.
Fri., Sept. 8th In the train (Assam Mail). Dead flat country, mostly rice-fields, with areas of tall grass, resembling pampas grass, with feathery white tops, very pretty. Natives very busy ploughing the stiff mud, smoothing the surface with boards drawn by cattle, building up the mud banks dividing the patches, + pricking out + spacing the half-grown rice. Others fishing with rocks, traps, or square nets on frames adapted for lowering + raising. [sketch] Arrived at Sorbhog Station at 8 a.m (Chota hazri). Ran into hill country before reaching the Brahmaputra at Amingaon (12.30 pm). At Amingaon I transferred to the Ferry to cross the Brahmaputra to Pandu. Large, well-appointed ferry boat. Had tiffin on board + watched the fresh-water dolphins of two kinds (Platanista + Orcaella) playing about in numbers, often quite close to the ferry. One rarely saw the long, narrow snout of the Platanista, the turn over for ‘blowing’ being rapid + exposing little of the body. Orcaellahas a short snout + a pronounced [sketch] dorsal fin (contrasting with the low hump of Matanista. Having been ferried over to Pandu, I got into a train which left at 1.15 p.m.
[---FACING PAGE: “Sept. 8 – Birds noticed in the flat paddy-lands – Large + small egrets, paddy-egrets, common herons, small buff herons, Marabout Storks, Jabiru storks, jacanas, Brahminy Kites, rollers, bee-eaters, drongos, pied Kingfishers, blue-and-green Kingfishers, vultures, white-tailed eagles, a few Govindi Kites + small raptorials (? sp.), Cormorants (Ph. carbo + javanicus), Indian Shag (Ph. fuscicollis). A great many weaver-birds’ nests in groups on trees. A little owl (like Athena noctua) on telegraph wire.” And two sketches, labelled: “Susu, Platanista gangetica.”; “Orcella brevirostris”---]
A great many large vultures (grey, with black-tipped white tails) were flying over Pandu. Train stopped at Gauhati + left there at 1.45. Hilly, jungle country, the jungle very thick. Long delay at Chaparmukh our engine having broken a spring. This was quaintly patched up with bits of wood + wire + we went on. Very fine sunset over the Khasi Hills. In the evening the hills were left behind + the country became flat again, though the Mikir Hills were not far off. An immense grasshopper flew into my compartment + had to be evicted. Arrived at Lumding Junction about 9 p.m. Very surprised + pleased to find Hutton on the platform. He was expecting me by the Chandpur route + was also surprised. He was with Higgins + Cummings (2 Police officials of Nowbong). There were many Mikirs on the platform + also Hutton’s Angami + other retainers (Hutton was returning to Kohima after a Southern tour). Hutton, Higgins, Cummings + I all dined together at the station (poor grub). Nikrihu (an Angami of Jotsoma village) was assigned to me as batman during my stay in the Naga Hills. We all 4 travelled together to Manipur Road (Dimapur) where we arrived at about 10.30 p.m. We went to the Dâk Bungalow had a drink + turned in.
Sat. Sept. 9 Chota hazri in bed. Up at 7.30. Hutton trying cases all day. In morning I went with Cummings to see the Dimapur ruined fort + carved monoliths. These are a little way away from the road in jungle, partly cleared. The gateway of the fort is fairly well preserved. The monoliths are in 3 groups, + there is a single
very large cylindrical carved monolith standing alone. The stones are in two distinct types, (1) cylindrical, round-topped, carved all over with conventional designs, but with figures of swords as a dominant feature. (2) Bifid, V-shaped, mostly elaborately carved with rosette designs + animals (elephants, tigers, peacocks etc) more or less realistically rendered. The two typed are separately alligned; the largest group has 4 allignments [sketch] 2 lines for each type of monolith.
In the surrounding jungle Huluk gibbons were calling not far away. Sun blazing hot all day making me sweat profusely. At 3.30 pm I returned by myself to the monoliths + spent a couple of hours there, photographing etc + watching hornbills, small parrots, doves, egrets, rollers, small dark squirrels + a larger blackish squirrel. Heard more Huluks. Went on across the river for a short distance + then returned to the bungalow. Saw Higgins + Cummings off by 7.30 pm train. Quite dark by then + when I got back to the bungalow the rain came down heavily. The luggage was put onto bullock-carts which started for Kohima about midnight
Sun. Sept. 10 Hutton tried a few cases on the verandah of the bungalow. His horses came round at about 10 a.m + he + I started riding along the road to Kohima. After crossing the river we soon got into the jungle, which is very dense. The road seemed covered with gorgeous tropical butterflies, which rose in clouds, like blown autumn leaves, as we rode along. Hot and raining at intervals, but fortunately the sky was overcast. My pony went well. After a 9 mile stage we pulled up at NICHUGUARD (“Lower Guard”), at a
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Sword-designs on Dimapur monoliths.”---]
nice Inspection bungalow, on a high bank over the Dippo Chehate river. Our Angami batmen walked + arrived later. We had baths + lunched. In the later afternoon H. + I had a jolly bathe in a pool in the river which the very strong current did not reach. A wide sand-spit served as an admirable drying-ground. The river was coming down in spate.
Mon. Sept. 11th The luggage-carts had gone on during the night. Hutton dealt with a few native cases at the Bungalow + we started then riding to GHASPANI (9 1/2 miles) through dense jungle on a fair road. Not unbearably hot; the road for a good way followed the gorge of the Dippu R. mounting steadily all the way; grand scenery. Butterflies in myriads. Arrived at GHASPANI fairly early + went to the Inspection bungalow, which is of the usual type (central sitting-room with bed- and bath-room on either side. Kitchen in a small outhouse. Ghaspani is 1542.82 ft. above sea level. All round is bamboo + mixed-timber jungle very dense + tangled with parasitic vines, canes etc. Sensitive-plant abundant. After lunch H. + I with our two Angami bearers, climbed up to an Angami village, MESEPHIMA, passing many old stone platform-graves; and passing a group of small bamboo tubes, propped up + containing zu (rice-beer). [sketch] These were for divination purposes. If the liquid remained clear, it was good omen for the harvest; the reverse if it became fouled. The tubes remain for 3 or 4 days.
Entrance to the village is between the trunks of two trees, close together, over a plank which crosses a dry moat, which would be set with panjis for defence. Ill-kept + degenerate village. One hut had numerous hunting trophies under the projecting eaves – skulls of sambhar, Barking-deer, Musk-deer, macaques of different species, porcupines, ichnewmou (mongoose) bears, lizards etc.; also skulls of cattle + pigs – Inside the hut I saw several huge store-baskets for rice, rice-pounding bench, weaving-apparatus, old-percussion-musket, bullet-bow etc. Hanging up were large pieces of elephant-meat, from a beast shot a couple of months or so before in the immediate neighbourhood. The meat was stinking furiously, + declared itself eloquently when in the dark hut one’s nose bumped into one of the chunks. The tusks were poor. Only about 6 huts in the village, with a wooden sitting-out platform commanding a fine view over the jungle-clad hills. Chickens + pigs everywhere; the young chickens fly well at an astonishingly early age. The pigs are of a long-faced variety, not far removed from wild stock. The climb up to the village is very steep. Around are jhumed fields. Rain fell early in the afternoon. Later I had a walk by myself along the road till it got too dusk to see anything. Found a leech in my bath-room full of blood (someone else’s). At night numbers of bats flew into the sitting-room, of large-size + with heads like pteropus, but not nearly as large as the flying-foxes. There was also one extremely small bat.* Insects galore, especially biting ones which were very maddening.
[---FACING PAGE: “*Probably the Indian Short-nosed Fox-bat, Cynopterus marginatus.”---]
Tues. Sept. 12th We rode 9 miles to PIPHIMA. Fine, sunny + very hot. The Inspection-bungalow had suffered badly from a hurricane, one side being nearly stone in. It served its purpose however. Many Red-vented Bulbuls in the compound. Butterflies very abundant, especially a small yellow one with dark margins which clustered in large groups. After lunch I went with Nikrihu to visit 2 native villages; one a village of mixed Angamis, Semas + Nepalese, close to the bungalow; the other, pure Angami, an older village on the top of a steep hill. On the way there we passed many old + new stone platform-graves, mostly rectangular. Two of the graves were of women recently dead + were decorated with their carrying-baskets, gourds etc, + in one case with a ‘spider’s web’ symbol, formed of cotton thread wound round a cruciform frame. [sketch] This is a very usual feature on graves of Angami women. Entrance to the village very narrow. Village + huts absolutely filthy. The thatched roof extends low down along the sides + projects in a gable far over the entrance, forming a verandah, with logs for sitting upon. Interior is divided by openwork partitions of bamboo-work into 2 or 3 compartments, the two larger compartments rectangular, the third (small + at the back) apsoidal. [sketch] The latter is mainly a store room for zu. A woman was pounding dhan (unhusked rice) in a huge mortar with a very long wooden pestle in the 1st. room. Skulls of monkeys, bears, porcupines, deer, jackals, pigs + cows were hanging under the eaves,
also of hornbills (both Rhitidoceras ‘wreathed’ and Dichoceros ‘casqued’). The only weapons I saw were spears. I sat for a bit with the gaonbura (headman), who like others in this village, was sodden with malaria; and was given zu (fermented rice-beer) to drink. Not very unpalatable. Pigs + fowls everywhere outside + inside the huts. In the village, in an open space, is a flat, sloping stone [sketch] which is used as a ‘take-off’ in long-jumping, a favourite passtime. There are about 15 houses in the village, the approach to which is exceedingly steep + rough. There is a fine view from the Inspection bungalow looking along a valley towards hills of good height to the N.E.
Wed. Sept. 13th Up at 7 am. After breakfast we rode on 9 miles to ZUBZA. Inspection bungalow. Arrived at about 11 am. Very fine view up the valley with Kohima clearly visible on the sky-line high above us. Also views of JOTSOMA village + of Japro, a high mountain (9890 ft). Terraced cultivation (panikhets) all around, throwing the hill-sides into steps. I was tired + very stiff, after unaccustomed riding + did not go out again, except to visit the small native Police-post, until after tea, when I had a 4-mile walk by myself, returning when it got dark. I saw many Red-vented Bulbuls + another bulbul, drongos (Dicrurus ater), Grey wagtails, doves (some cooing like woodpigeons); a green whip-snake on the road, also a huge toad. The rice in the panikhets was standing quite high, + some of the fields were set with a great variety of
scare-crows attached to jerking strings or to long springy bamboos. Towards evening Kohima became enveloped in cloud + was apparently enjoying a thunderstorm, but no rain fell on Zubza. At night a large, all-black beetle flew into the sitting-room, + made a curious + loud hissing noise when picked up.
Thus. Sept. 14th In the morning we rode the last stage (10 1/2 miles) to KOHIMA, through fine jungle scenery with clearings for panikhet + jhum fields, for rice + Jobs-tear’s (Coix lacryma) the principal crops grown. We crossed the Zubza + several other streams by bridges which were mostly in a very tumble-down state, owning to land-slips. At Kohima we rode straight to Hutton’s bungalow, situate [sic] in a garden high above the road, with the small Club + tennis court at the back on higher ground. I was put up in a large empty bungalow (belonging to Col. Shakespear who was on leave), which I had entirely to myself. Very roomy, with a large verandah, or stoep, + with lovely views over jungled hills + valleys, especially to the S. towards Manipur. About 150 yards from the Huttons. After lunch I had a stroll to the native Bazaar, past the “Manipur Stone” (a carved + inscribed upright stone slab with horizontal base slab having incut “foot-prints” of the Maharaja of Manipur; which marks the old boundary of Manipur State). After tea I went with the Huttons to the Club + met some of the local Europeans etc. A thunderstorm
came on + everything was enveloped in cloud, but it cleared off at night. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas + Mr. Mullan (late of Manipur) came to dinner + we had a jovial evening. Hutton’s bungalow is crammed with Naga + other curios + is very nicely appointed. Cool night after a hot day. Mosquitoes abundant.
Fri. Sept. 15th In the morning I went with Nikrihu to the Angami village of KOHIMA, situated upon a ridge high above the modern settlement. The entrances to the village are defended with thick, heavy wooden doors hewn out of the solid + extremely massive; elaborately carved in relief + intaglio; swinging on huge pin-hinges cut from the solid. The one by which we entered the village is carved with a pair of large mithan heads, the horns of each enclosing the figure of a warrior (one carrying a head in left-hand). A spear-blade is carved on each side of each figure. Above these the sun + moon (repres. by concentric circles) + a row of human heads surmounting the whole. At the bottom are figures of humped cattle. This door is made from two tree-trunks. The village is a very large one (? 800 houses). The houses are very close together + there are no streets, only very narrow trackways meandering vaguely among the houses + often very ill-defined, so that finding one’s way about is very difficult. Houses rectangular + divided into 3 compartments with partitions of open cane-work or upright wooden beams. The gable roof far overhangs the front + entrance doorway, forming a spacious ‘verandah’. The large vertical planks forming the house-front are carved with mithan heads in relief + may also be painted, in the richer houses. The poorer
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Ornament on house-gable, KOHIMA.”---]
houses are plain. The first room may contain, in addition to the dhan-pounding board, some very large hollowed out tree-trunks (10-12 ft long) which serve as vats for storing zu. Raw (or smoked) meat, mostly stinking horribly, hangs at about nose-level. Spider’s webs + filth enveloped all. The middle compartment is the cooking + sleeping appartment + is very dark. An open hearth with 3 upright stones upon which the cooking-pot is placed, + rough plank sleeping-places. The 3rd room is the zu-store where the rice-beer is kept in tree-trunks, pottery vessels or gourds. Rice is stored in immense baskets (6-7 feet high), several of which usually stand in the first room, + sometimes under the verandah-roof. I went though the usual zu-drinking ceremony at one of the best houses. I watched a young woman weaving + embroidering a white cloth with great skill. Simple ‘Indonesian’ type of tension loom, the warp strained with a strap round the womans back. A ‘sword of [sketch] shape used for opening the shed + for ‘beating-in’; single looped-heddle + a bamboo roller for resistance in forming shed + counter-shed. Small rectangular panels of ‘embroidery’ formed with dark blue threads passed through a secondary shed formed with a miniature [sketch] ‘sword’, with which the warp-threads were selected so as to form a pattern. Another woman was dyeing cloth with boiling indigo (strobilanthes) infusion. One or two dippings produce a pale blue colour, white several dippings dye the cloth black. The dye was contained in a large broken pottery vessel placed sideways over the fire. A row of 8 vertical stone slabs erected in pairs indicated the performance of a series of gennas by the late chief Lobashi. Several stone-encircled graves are scattered about, some very large ones
serving as sitting out platforms. Over one grave of a warrior stood a life-sized wooden effigy holding a red-fringed spear + large bear-skin shield, + bearing ornaments, plumed head-dress etc. Occupying commanding positions with wide views are steeply-sloping platforms of timber, serving as sitting out places + look-outs.
I returned to Hutton’s bungalow for lunch. It rained hard part of the afternoon, but cleared after tea, though clouds created dense fog intermittently. I had a walk by myself over ‘Kuki Picket’. Very pretty wooded scenery, the trees largely covered with epiphytic ferns. Numerous Red-vented Bulbuls + large all-black crows (like ravens). Fine sunset effect with monsoon-clouds, thunderstorm + afterglow. Quite dark when I reached the bungalow at 7 pm.
Sat. Sept. 16 Spent the morning in the Angami village photographing. The natives were very busy drying rice + millet on large mats spread out in the sun. I purchased a woman’s loin-cloth, a pair of dance-baldries (worn over the shoulders + crossing diagonally) + a pair of ear-ornaments for 18 1/4 Rupees. I left the village by a different gate with very heavy carved door, cut out of a single tree-trunk of huge size (I sketched this). In the afternoon I called on Capt. + Mrs. Wright at their bungalow (Capt. Wright commands the Kohima troops, Assam Rifles). Clouds descended + enveloped all in dense mist at 6 pm. The Wrights came to dinner + he sang to us.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch of door hinges.---]
Sun. Sept. 17 Visited Kohima gaol with Hutton. It is surrounded with a 12-foot palisade of spiked bamboos; internal equipment simple but fairly effective. A number of Naga + Kuki prisoners (2 in irons) + one or two Indians. Later I had a walk with Nikrihu down the road toward Dimapur for 2-3 miles, to look at the terraced fields (panikhets) + the jhumed fields of Job’s tears (Coix lacryma), the latter, Kessité in Angami, are used as an ingredient in zu making in hot weather, to keep the zu cool [according to Nikrihu]; also used for feeding pigs. Saw flocks of small green parrots with long tail-feathers. Meiklejohn (of Assam Forestry Dept.) came to tea at the bungalow, + Mrs. Wright called. After tea some Kukis were brought to the bungalow to play upon the native mouth-organ (gushem in Kuki). The music was soft droncy + rather pretty, but the melody very brief + its constant repetition was monotonous. It pelted with rain in the afternoon till well after dinner, but cleared later. The usual cloud had settled down upon Kohima earlier in the afternoon.
Mon. 18th At 11 am, Hutton + I started to Khonoma, about 12 miles distant, an important Angami village. The Khonoma bridle-path branches off the Dimapur road about 3/4 miles from Kohima. Soon it began to rain + it came down in torrents most of the day, drenching us to the skin. The track at first is good but becomes very bad, often very steep + narrow. The rain had made the ground greasy + treacherous. At one place we rode down a very irregular + slippery flight of stone steps. We crossed one stream by a very narrow bridge formed of a large thick wooden plank, the upper surface of which was carved with
[---FACING PAGE: Sketches, labelled: “Position of stops on the two sets of pipes.”; “Kuki gushem player.”---]
heads in low relief. This had been erected by the natives in place of an iron bridge, which was said to be unlucky. It was veryslippery + riding across was a risky performance. There was a landslip across the track at one point, 7 or 8 feet high, over which we had to scramble the horses. At another spot there was a very strong smell of snake, but we could not see the owner thereof. The spiraeas are magnificent; growing in great bushes to a great height. A few yew trees were noted in the jungle. Some parrots were seen, but birds were scarce. Earthworms 18-20 inches long. We passed through JOTSOMA village (Angami), about 5 miles from Kohima, but did not stop. Genna stones in pairs (or groups of pairs) and stone graves were numerous along the track near the village. Jungle all round, except where panikhets terraced the hill-sides; the rice well advanced, + the coix crops very tall. Many very effective scarecrows, some like hovering kites, others in shape of men or gibbons swinging from tall bamboos. One bow-like example of bamboo (Kohkohpoh type) was fitted with an old tin box for the swinging striker to beat against. [sketch] We reached the small 2-roomed I.B. near KHONOMA at 1.45 pm. Still raining in torrents. We had a fire lighted + partially dried our clothes. A thunderstorm added to the amenities. We could not visit the Angami village till about 4 pm, when the rain ceased more or less. KHONOMA village is strategically situated on a ridge, the approaches on most sides being very steep + easily defended. In the village were numerous recent graves with elaborate erections over them for supporting deceased’s prosperity (ornaments etc). The women’s graves have a pair of the
spider’s-web-like symbols, of white threads with black band towards centre + ‘pompoms’ of raw white cotton at the angles + centre. [sketch] Carrying-baskets, gourds etc hang on a rectangular framework standing over the grave. A small boulder on the platform represents the deceased. On the men’s grave-platforms bamboo framework supports the deceased’s shield, spear, panji-quiver, dao-holder, various dance + other ornaments, bottles + various treasured oddments. I saw no wooden effigies. A woman was ‘keening’ at a man’s grave (very recent), crying out loudly + sobbing. There are morungs (batchelor’s houses) in the village, but very poor ones (not to be compared with the Ao + Konyak ones), containing hardly anything but rough sleeping-benches. We got up a stone-throwing (‘putting-the-weight’) contest between Nikrihu + another. The stone was a heavy boulder + the throws, or ‘puts’, very creditable. The houses in KHONOMA are not at all consistently orientated. There are about 360 houses. Everything is filthy, ankle-deep in muck; cattle, pigs, fowls etc wander in + out of the houses at will, + after the heavy rains the filth is undescribable. I watched some of the men making long, barrel-shaped, beads of conch-shell, by grinding the columella on the wetted surface of a saddle-shaped stone, + drilling with a hand-twirled drill with long point of wire (or sometimes an old umbrella spoke). [sketch] A split wooden clamp used for holding the shell while being ground or drilled. (held with the feet for the latter purpose). Bead-making + trading in beads is a great speciality at KHONOMA. I bought a bead-making outfit (except for the grind stone) for 1 1/2 R., +, later, some unfinished + finished beads for 1 R. each. A hornbill ‘popinjay’ is erected
[---FACING PAGE: Drawing of a stone seat, labelled: “One of a number of stone seats, set around a large circular dancing-ground in Khonoma. Erected a long while ago by the first man who made a dance-ground in the village. The carving on one surface represents two mithan-horn drinking vessels, at the side a kind of ‘herringbone’ design not seen on any of the other stones. The drinking-horn design is repeated on many. Another stone has carved on it a shield + 2 spear-heads. Others are uncarved.”
in KHONOMA for shooting at with bow + bamboo-tipped arrows. I watched women spinning cotton-yarn. The end of the spindle rested on a rag on the ground + the spindle was spun by brisk rubbing along the bare thigh. On the ground I saw a small figure of a tiger (?), very roughly made of twigs, to which disease had been transferred. It was then thrown away. It was too filthy to ‘collect’. The carved village gates are very fine, resembling those at Kohima.
After dinner about 24 men + boys came from Khonoma to the bungalow + sang a number of their native songs. They sang very softly in chorus, two sides alternately – or, sometimes, with a bar interval between the two sides (like “Three blind mice”). Octaves + even rudimentary harmony were noticeable. The music sounded very pretty (reminding one of the Kuki mouth-organ) with drone effects. The love songs sounded melancholy, but war-songs and others were brisker with effective tempo accelerato movements. All sat huddled together on the verandah, a weirdly picturesque scene by lantern light. They were absorbed in their music + would have gone on for any length of time. It was past midnight when we dismissed them.
Thurs. Sept. 19th A very strenuous day. We walked through KHONOMA village, down an interminable flight of extremely irregular stone steps into the valley; across the terraced paddy-fields, very rough + slippery going; sometimes wading along irrigation-streams ankle-deep. Crossed a light bamboo bridge over a stream + crawled up a very steep + rough mountain-side to MOZEMA village (3 1/2 miles). A good-sized, scattered Angami village. I photo’d one of
the village doors. The village resembled other typical Angami villages, + lies along a ridge. There are many elaborate sitting-out places, some with trilithon [sketch] seats. Several men were making beads, as in Khonoma. Here + there on the platform graves of men upright stones were erected with notches along one angle (ogham-like). [sketch] The notches usually record successful love affairs. We walked back to KHONOMA, partly by a different route, up another rough flight of 1000 or more stone steps into the village, through which we went on to the bungalow, arriving awfully tired. It came on to rain torrentially, but after waiting some time at the bungalow, we decided to ride on to JOTSOMA, in spite of the rain. The going was appallingly slippery + it was not easy to keep the horses on their legs on the narrow ledge-like track. We had to dismount at the wooden bridge + stone steps, which were too slippery to negociate mounted. Most of the way it is rather ‘trick-riding’ along a ledge track with a nearly sheer fall on one side. Arrived at JOTSOMA, there was much difficulty in finding men to hold the horses, + this caused a delay. We examined a number of the characteristic sitting-out places, built around graves; some circular, some horse-shoe shaped, the larger ones built up in stone terraces with niches in the stone work for rice-beer (zu) pots. In one part of the village a dry-masonry wall, 12 ft. thick, protects the Thekronoma khel (clan) from the others; the entrance passage through this wall has a right-angled turn in it, so that a single spear-man could defend the passage. [sketch] The cap-stones have
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a photograph of “THE MONKEY TEMPLE, BENARES”---]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a small sketch of what looks like horns.]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is an obituary from the “Times”, 27 May, 1930, about “The Maharana of Udaipur: an Appreciation”.]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a photograph of a “STATE ELEPHANT OF H.H. THE MAHARANA OF UDAIPUR”.]
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is a table of distances traveled in 1914 and 1922.]
now been removed from the doorway. The cryptic reason given for this was that “so many people died”. The number of ‘pulled’ stones erected as ‘genna’ stones by individuals is very great in JOTSOMA. Stone-work platform-graves abound, as well as sitting-out platforms. One of the village gates, carved in high-relief with the usual mithan head + other figures, has the human heads inlaid with beetle elytrae for eyes + long, narrow coix lacryma seeds for teeth. Leaving JOTSAMA, we rode 1/2 mile or so down the bush-track to a solitary combined grave & sitting-out platform, + there had an al fresco lunch, the rain having nearly stopped. We sent the horses on to the junction with the Dimapur road, + walked down the few miles, +, rejoining the horses, rode the last part into KOHIMA. I was fairly played out, + after a bath, lay on my bed to rest exhausted muscles.
Wed. Sept. 20th Did nothing special, having many letters to write. I got some washing back from the dhobi. The price had to be worked out on a basis of “If there were 100 pieces it would cost 8 rupees”. There were 15 pieces, so I paid 1 R 4 annas. Thunderstorm + heavy rain in afternoon, clearing later. Hutton + I went to tea with the Wrights.
Thurs. 21st Went with Nikrihu round to the E. side of KOHIMA native village, + entered by the E. gate, which I photo’d + sketched. Saw an old woman weaving plain cotton cloth, + another spinning (spindle resting on the ground + spun by rolling along the thigh in the universal Naga manner). The spindle is rotated between the fingers to roll up the spun thread.
In the evening I walked round the ‘Ladies’ Mile’ and back.
Fri. Sept. 22nd In morning I merely strolled about photographing etc. At 3 pm I started off with Nikrihu to walk to Merâmi (4 1/2 miles from Kohima) Very pretty walk along a good track most of the way. Daturas, cannas, convolvulus etc enlivened the route. Passed many panikhets with growing rice + jhum fields with coix lacryma crops. Fine views over the northern hills – Sema country to the East + Rengma country to the West. I passed a group of 5 pairs of genna stones erected by Khrievihu, who must have been something of a scholar to judge from a stone slab inscribed in quaint English + recording his achievements. [arrow in margin pointing to facing page] By the wayside were some stacks of fire-wood protected with tabu signs (v. sketch). Several old graves + upright genna stones along the route. We entered MERÂMI at the East end of the village through a gateway with very old + much decayed carved wooden door. There are said to be 140 houses. All the men were away, excepting a few very old men, + there was little activity in the village. I saw one house with carved front [sketch] (mithan heads carved in relief), but the village is evidently a poor one + the houses have no gable ornaments. We left the village on the South side, where there are double gates. The inner gate (erected last year) is in good condition + well carved. A rough flight of stone steps descends to the lower gate (an old one) + from this a further flight of steps descends to the bush path. I photo’d these gates + the entrance from below. Hutton had never visited this village. Got back to KOHIMA at 7 p.m., after a very jolly walk.
[---FACING PAGE: Elaborate sketch, labelled: “Tabu sign stuck over a pile of firewood near MERAMI. Twisted bunch of dead leaves stuck with 4 panjis. Meaning “as these leaves have died, so will die anyone who steals this wood”. The panjis accentuate the threat.”; and a sketch of a stone inscribed: “KHRIEVIHU / MEPEVONOMA / HE MAKE PUJA II / TIMES-AND-SPE- / NT Rs 4000 / AND CAPTAIN / AMONG-CHER- / AMA KHELL- / DONT BE DES- / TROYED”---]
Sat. Sept. 23rd Drenching all the morning + dense cloud-mist. Did not go out. Ditto, ditto all the afternoon.
Sun. 24th Packed for MANIPUR, as we had been invited by Mr. Gimson, the British Resident, to stay a few days with him in IMPHAL. A Ford car of disreputable appearance was packed full of our luggage, bedding etc, + Hutton, Mrs. Hutton + I squeezed in somehow. After spending 1 3/4 hours trying to get the car to start, with the help of about 10 natives pushing, we gave it up + returned with our belongings to the bungalow. The aged car, which was patched up with sheets of zinc etc. + had one outer cover tied onto the tyre with wire, was dragged away to be tinkered up if possible. Cloud enveloped Kohima all the morning + it rained heavily nearly all day. One gets used to being continually wet + to putting on wet clothes in the morning + getting into wet pyjamas + a moist bed at night. Not harms seems to come of it. The whole atmosphere is saturated with moisture during the rains.
Mon. 25th Packed again for Manipur, but the car was not yet repaired + no other could be obtained, so we gave it up again and unpacked. Last night a leopard entered Kohima bazaar + caught + eat [sic] two dogs. It was seen early this morning + hundreds of Nagas + some others turned out with spears + a few guns. The leopard was located in a ravine just below the Bazaar. All the morning they tried to get at it, but the beast was not killed, although there was much firing. Three Nagas were mauled by
the leopard rather badly, and one (a Sema youth) was killed by a bullet fired at close range as the fell backwards in trying to avoid the beast, which rushed him + clawed his thigh + mauled his foot. The bullet was intended for the leopard, but entered the youth’s forehead high up, just where the hair ended. It made a small hole through the skull +, I should think, must have lodged in the cerebellum [This was verified by the post mortem]. The occurrence was reported to Hutton, and he + I went down to look into it. We found the body lying near the spot where the boy was shot + examined it + the scene of the tragedy. We had the scene reconstructed, the body being placed in the position + attitude occupied at the moment of the accident, + Hutton took evidence from the eye-witnesses, + ordered a post mortem. Nothing more could be done, so we returned to the bungalow. It rained all the afternoon + dense cloud hid everything; so the hunt fizzed out. At night a jackal was howling close to the bungalow. Fine, starlight night.
Tues., Sept. 26th Packed for the third time for Manipur, but, again, the expected car from Dimapur did not turn up. So we unpacked again. The leopard hunt was renewed in the ravine at about 9 a.m. Hundreds of natives surrounded the Kloof + tried to get at the animal, which had probably been wounded the day before + had not left the spot. It was seen several times. I watched until nearly mid-day, when a shot from Jantha’s muzzle-loading percussion smooth-bore crippled the leopard, which was then soon put an end to with spears. I went down to see the body, which had been nearly cut to pieces with spears + daos. A huge crowd of Nagas
stood round the beast, but made way for me. I had Jantha called up + looked at his antiquated musket. He seemed very pleased with himself + with my interest. Many of the Nagas’ spears had been ‘blooded’ in the leopard’s body + the skin was absolutely ruined. It was a big animal. In the afternoon, Nihu, Jantha + a crowd of Nagas brought the leopard’s body on a pole to Hutton’s bungalow, to claim the Government reward of 10 R.. I photo’d the crowd, which included an Angami who had just killed his wife for no apparent reason. He probably just “felt like that”. He belonged to Puchama village, a few miles from Kohima. There are now three murders + the shooting for the Sema boy yesterday ready for trial. In the evening I walked round the “Ladies’ Mile” in a fog + then went to see the improvised ‘merry-go-round’ (vertical type) on the parade-ground, which was working with much success + noise. A very cranky + ‘problematic’ affair worked by hand.
Wed., Sept. 27th Packed for the fourth time for Manipur. This time the Fates were with us, as a car from Dimapur turned up, + we started at 10.40 a.m in fine weather. The car, another ancient Ford, did not run well, but did not break down. The road, up hill for 20 or 30 miles, was good, except where landslips have overwhelmed it + it was being repaired. There had been several bad land-slides + we had to bump + jolt over the roughest of ‘corduroy’-roads at these places. Scenery lovely all the way. Jungle, jhum + panikhets succeeded one another giving endless variety. We passed KEGWEMA + VISWEMA (Angami villages) + pulled up for a short while at
MAO, on the top of the pass (c.6000 feet). We visited this Angami village which has several good carved + painted house-fronts + at least one carved village door, as well as some well-built circular stone sitting-out places. We then ran on to MARÂM, mostly down-hill, + had lunch at the stone-built Inspection bungalow, which is quite a substantial building. There are many huge monoliths (genna stones) standing like menhirs near the bungalow in seeming allignment. Some must be 13 feet high + of great girth. The present native village is a good distance from the bungalow. After leaving MARAM we passed in sight of a very long avenue of menhirs, leading from the valley to the Naga village of MARAM. We ran along the valley of the Barak R. to KOIRANG, where we reached the flat Manipur plain. The scenery had changed since MAO, the jungle was much less high + more broken up with grassy expanses. Panikhets became fewer + more confined to the valleys + the population was scantier. Very beautiful all round. The plain became a dead level, though bounded by hills on either side. Extensive cultivated fields. Very large herds of humped cattle + quantities of water-buffaloes (some of them ridden by quite small boys. Manipuri ponies abundant. A somewhat different type of native is seen, through nearly related to the Nagas – Tangkhuls, Koiraos, Kukis and Manipuris (Meitheis). Small villages along the road with booths, quite picturesque. Birds become more numerous + of the regular plains types – Paddy egrets, White egrets (large + small), many of these standing on the backs of cattle, Black Drongos, Rollers, Bee-eaters, blacks crows, various raptorials (including a handsome white-headed grey kite (?)),
mynahs, White wagtails (Yellow wagtails had been abundant in the hills around Mao), many vultures, smoke-coloured doves very abundant everywhere along the road; snipe (both Fan-tail + Pin-tail), Greenshanks. We reached IMPHAL (the capital of Manipur) + pulled up at the Residency at 5.45 p.m. after a run of 88 miles (fortunately, though oddly enough, without a breakdown). Mr. Gimson, the Resident, was not in, so we went to our rooms, cleaned up + then had tea. Gimson turned up soon after. The Residency is beautifully situated in a very nice garden with small lakes (‘tanks’). It rained after 7 pm. Flying-foxes + other bats flying around in numbers after dusk. I had a very jolly room, opening out onto a verandah + the Garden.
Thurs. Sept. 28th Breakfast at 8.0. Hutton + Gimson went off to shoot snipe, + I went with an English-speaking Manipuri clerk, Mangaljao by name, to look around IMPHAL. We first visited the Civil Court (for local cases only); a rectangular court-room, open along the fronts, very simply furnished. A frieze of paintings by a Manipuri state artist very crudely depicts scenes from the life of Khrishna. The adjacent Criminal Court is a similar building, having a similar frieze depicting scenes in Hell, very lurid + thrilling scenes of torment, serving as a warning to liars + perjurers. Next we went round the Bazaars. The Naga section is very interesting, where were grouped Tangkhuls, almost naked + with much distended ear-lobes, Chirus with large annular
silver ear-ornaments, grooved outside for the ear lobe, like a bicycle-wheel for its tyre; and Kabuis. They were selling small pigs for 2 rupees apiece + a variety of vegetables etc. One Tangkhul was selling dog-meat, the dog having been killed for being refractory (2 annas a leg). After lunch I went with Hutton round the Bazaars + markets. Thousands of Manipuris, Kukis, Koiraos, Tangkhuls etc etc were massed there + a brisk trade was being conducted in fish, meat, vegetables, betel-nut, pân leaves + lime; pottery, basketry, turned stone pots (at 2 annas apiece), wooden articles, chillam pipes with coconut water-holders + wooden stands, etc. Native jewelry, silver- + brass-ornaments etc were on stalls in the covered market; other commodities were mostly spread out on mats or flat baskets on the ground. There is a big trade in cloth goods, mostly of native make. The fish-stalls stank so furiously that we had to fly from them. A small, slimy-looking black cat-fish was in great abundance, very unattractive in appearance, + most repellant to the nose. I met Mrs. Dallas Smith in the market + escorted her to the tennis club-ground. Mr. + Mrs. Jolly + their daughter, Mrs. Amery, and Mr. Crawford came to dinner at the Residency, + we all went to a ‘nautch’ at the Drill Shed, where performances were given of Manipuri dances + songs, Bengali dances + songs, sword-dancing + tumbling + a number of comic plays. We were there from 9.30 pm till well past midnight. The Drill Hall was absolutely packed. Most of the English residents were there + hundreds of natives – a most picturesque sight. The singing was very high-pitched + nasal + the music seemingly inconsequent + hard to follow. The dancing mostly consisted in posturing + hand + arms movements, very little foot-work.
[---FACING PAGE: Two sketches, labelled: “Meithei, unmarried girl.”; “Chiru”.---]
Fri. Sept. 29th In the morning the Ghoorkhas held a great sacrificial ceremony, when they decapitated with a special sword several oxen, whose heads were tied to a stake. A single blow struck off each head. Also scores of fowls and ducks were decapitated. A very gory scene which I did not attend. Instead, I went with Mangaljao to see the Maharaja’s palace, which is not very impressive. It stands in a large garden space with a temple on one side + a Durbar Hall (open + of small size) on the other. A small, wired-in tank is stocked with Pintail ducks + Grey-lag geese (with bright red beaks). The 5 wives of the Maharaja have separate bungalows. Europeans are not allowed to enter, or even touch, the palace for fear of defilement! I visited the stables which are poor. In a field nearby I saw H.H.’s elephants – 4 adult + 2 young. One bull had very large tusks. Later I saw them out for exercise, the mahout standing on the bare back of the big tusker. Next I visited the gaol, where convicts were working at revolving mills for extracting mustard-seed oil; weaving, carpentry and chair-mending; also dhan-pounding with a rocking-beam pestle worked with the foot. [sketch] In the gaol compound were some tame Barking-deer (Muntjaks) and larger bright-red deer, one of the former extremely tame. Had my weight recorded in the book at the Lodge (10 st. 1). This appears to be de rigueur with visitors. Later on I went with Mr. + Mrs. Jolly, Mrs. Amery + Mrs. Hutton, in the Jolly’s car to see the Monkey Tope, a Hanuman temple, where monkeys are sacred. Scores of Rhesus monkeys trooped out to us, some of them taking bananas from our hands, the bigger ones robbing the smaller. Some trees by the temple were literally covered with flying-foxes
hundreds of them hanging head-downwards, like large pendent fruits; occasionally crawling along the branches + squabbling. We then motored to the Maharajas Summer residence on a small hill a few miles out along a very rough raised road-way. We passed through a small native market, with the goods all spread out over the ground. It was extremely difficult to avoid running over the people, as they + their merchandize were all over the roadway. In the afternoon there was a great nautch of Manipuris (Meitheis) at the Residency. The effect was very fine. A great number of dances, male + female, the young girls in elaborate embroidered costumes with inset small mirrors; others, the older women, in white muslin with embroidered sash-skirts. The men were in white + wore large white turbans. The dances were of a semi-religious nature + in part very solemn, now + then becoming wild + frenzied. Some of the older women went into exstacies, becoming ‘possessed’ and dazed; one woman becoming quite ill. One of the dances centred round a large white sheet which was held up horizontally + into which offerings were placed + under which the women danced in and out. Most of the dances were of a processional kind, in which large umbrellas + huge fly-flaps were carried, as also wooden cup-shaped seats for god + goddess. Two men carried sacred daos of obsolete type, of iron, blunt-edged + looped at the pommel. [sketch] Evidently very old. We were not allowed to touch these. The musical accompaniment was with drums and penas (small monochord fiddles with coconut resonators + large bell-studded bows), the notes emitted by which are curiously flute-like in tone, not at all suggestive of a stringed instrument. The pena-players themselves danced + sang + led the performances. The dances were performed on the lawn in front of the Residency + the effect of
[---FACING PAGE: Two coloured sketches, labelled: “Small cast-brass pellet-bells. Fiddle, pena, and bow, drawn to the same scale (1/7). Coconut body.”; “Manipuri pena player”.---]
organized moving colour was very impressive + beautiful. I could not follow the symbolism, but the performances were conducted with great seriousness + much accuracy. In the evening I went round the Bazaars with Mrs. Hutton + made some purchases. Hutton + Gimson had come in with a bag of about 60 birds (Fantail- and Pin-tailed Snipe in about equal numbers, with 2 Painted Snipe, a Greenshank + a quail).
Sat. Sept. 30th In the morning I went with Mr. + Mrs. Jolly to see Manipuri weaving on hand-looms (mostly of the simple ‘Indonesian’ type, but a few treadle-looms). The weaving was very skilfully done. Tangkhul cloths of large size + fine patterned colouring are woven on the ‘Indonesian’ loom for sale to the Tangkhul Nagas. I bought two of these for 10 1/2 rupees the two. It rained in the afternoon. I went round the Bazaars with Gangeschandra Das (Rai sahib), the doctor of the Hospital + bought a pair of brass bugle armlets (2/8) + a brass head-fillet (2/8) also 4 brass saucer-lamps (Manipuri – 8 annas). We stayed there till dark. Gangeschandra proved a delightful + informative companion. Mr. + Mrs. Philpot came to dinner + afterwards we all motored to Nahabam to attend the Nowkakhela Festival, by invitation of the Maharajah, in whose absence his brother, the Senapati, received the guests under an awning on the bank of the river. The night was dark but the scene was well illuminated + it was a wondrous sight. A huge crowd of natives was assembled on both banks. Abundant fire-works were let off + fell + exploded amid the crowd, to the huge delight of those not immediatly [sic] affected. Rockets now + then fell on our shelter + had to be promptly extinguished to prevent fire.
[---FACING PAGE: Printed invitation card from the Maharajah of Manipur.---]
An exhilaratingly dangerous performance. Two large barges, formed by uniting several large dug-out canoes + laying a platform over them, were on the river. Each carried at one end a large + tawdry shrine containing a huge figure of the 10-armed Durga, with a daughter on either side + a white lion in front; the whole elaborately garnished. Religious and secular dancing + singing went on on each barge + continued for about 2 1/2 hours. A [sic] about 11 p.m the lights were extinguished + the shrines with their figures of Durga were pushed or lowered into the river (most of the embellishments having been previously removed), and with that the ceremony ended. The whole seemed very inconsequent, a strange mixture of religion and pure buffoonery, but it was none the less extremely picturesque + amusing. The ceremony seems to be connected with a fertility cult. The Senapati is a small, very fat, genial person, but as he could not speak English I was not able to talk with him, except with the help of an interpreter. Refreshments + smokes were served round continuously all the evening.
Sun. Oct. 1st After breakfast I interviewed the [female] Huluk, which has the run of the Residency grounds. She was shy + not friendly, but sat on a low branch of a tree calling loudly with the peculiar, semi-ventriloquial notes peculiar to the Gibbons, giving the impression of several Huluks calling simultaneously. The volume of sound is considerable. A crow nearby was imitating her very successfully. Mrs. Hutton + I went with the Jollys to see some more of the weaving industries + native carpentry. I ordered models of the local dug-out canoe, and a nearly obsolete kind of sledge-cart, which was in universal
use 30 years ago, when there was no wheeled traffic. The Manipuri habitations consist of a compound with huts around it, each hut raised on a mud plinth or platform, 18"-20" high. The huts are mostly built of reed or bamboo coarse matwork coated with mud. A small Tulsi shrub or two is in each compound, + associated with this sacred plant are small shrines with natural small boulders set-up in the ground (? linga) No European may touch one of the huts (or even the plinth), as this would defile it, +, should this happen, the hut would be demolished + have to be built again (at the transgressor’s expense). This is strictly adhered to. We went on to pay a visit to the old deposed Maharani, Premamayu, and her sister, the widow of the Senapati who had usurped the throne in 1890 + who was largely responsible for the massacre of 1891. The old ladies were delighted with our visit + enquired tenderly after Col. J. Shakespear + Col Maxwell. They received us in state + led me in by the hand. We conversed through the medium of one of the Maharani’s sons who spoke some English. A huge state umbrella was held over us as we sat. The Maharani is a dear old lady + most courteous + friendly. On parting she insisted upon presenting me with a very delicate sash, woven on her own looms. She also gave us a large bunch of bananas. It was an interesting visit.
It rained in the afternoon, but I went for a 5 mile walk by myself past the Monkey Tope + a good way along the river. I saw a good many Rhesus monkeys in among the houses, quite alive to their immunity + fearless. Bee-eaters were fairly abundant. I got back to the Residency just in time, at 4.30 pm., for a grand Kabui nautch; the dances being performed on the Residency
lawn. Most of the dances were in linear formation, the men usually hopping twice on each foot successively + moving along, bringing their hands together at each movement. The girls, with fillets round their heads + coloured loin-cloth skirts, moved their feet with a shuffling motion + kept their hands raised all the time. They were alternated with the men, who sang all the time in strophe + antistrophe, to an accompaniment of drum and cymbals (the big drum was supported on the back of a small boy. Each dance ended with 4 girls in the centre of a half-circle formed by the other dancers, + these 4 danced together in pairs, clapping each other’s hands; first one + then another falling out until one girl only was left, and when she finished, the dance came to an end. The men wore imitation horns on their heads + carried daos. The singing was simple + the music quite intelligible to Europeans. The girls are far more Mongolian in appearance than the men, + much shorter. The dances were well executed + the effect very pleasing. Some Kukis brought to the Residency a Slow Loris (Nyeticebus tardigradus) alive but very sleepy. We dined with Major + Mrs. Dallas Smith at their bungalow.
Mon. Oct. 2nd I went down early to the tank in the Residency grounds to see the white herons, which flock there in considerable numbers + perch in scores upon some trees on a small island. After breakfast we said goodbye to our more than kind host, Gimson, and at 9.45 am the Huttons + I started in a Ford car on the return journey to Kohima. One of Hutton’s Sema youths hung on outside the car. I was very sorry to leave Imphal, which is a fascinating place.
It was fairly fine until we reached the hills. Passing over the plains I saw Bee-eaters, Rollers, Drongos, Shrikes with red backs, stone chats (?), pied Kingfishers, a few vultures + a grey kite (?), etc. Egrets + Paddy-birds were common. As soon as we reached the hills it started raining + continued heavily most of the morning + afternoon. I got very wet. We reached Maram at noon (54 miles) + eat our lunch on the verandah of the I.B.. Hutton + I inspected the huge upright stones, which stand in a rough alignment. There are 21 of these menhirs, some 11 or 12 feet high or possibly higher + immensely massive. We nearly caught a green snake in the grass. We left Maram at 1 pm, + when approaching Mao we came up with a large hunting party of Mao Nagas (Angami), all armed with spears, two each for the most part. They had been unsuccessfully hunting a leopard or a tiger (bagh) + were returning to Mao. We reached MAO at about 3 pm. The road had been very bad, the result of heavy rain-wash; many rocks had fallen onto the road + the ‘corduroy’ sections were in a deplorable state. At one point we were held up for a long while by two steam-rollers which blocked the road, as one was out of action + the other, in trying to pass, had got badly bogged. At last the latter was extricated + we were able to pass on. A fresh land-slide at another point all but stopped us, but there was just room to squeeze past. We were all but over the edge through skidding at a turn in a particularly bad patch of road. There was a good sheer fall if we had gone overboard. We did not stop at MAO as the rain was very heavy + there was dense cloud-mist. We pulled up at KEGWEMA, as I wanted to see a very fine village door, massive + elaborately
carved + painted; erected 2 years ago. The old door, also a fine one, was lying alongside. When nearing KOHIMA a large buzzard rose from the road just in front of the car, and I saw a landcrab crossing the road. These land-crabs abound in the panikhets + are quite good to eat. The rice in the panikhets was fast ripening. We reached KOHIMA at about 5.20 p.m. I was drenched + my bedding, though in a ‘waterproof’ sack, as well as pyjamas etc, was fairly drenched too. Could not dry the bedding properly so I had to turn in wet. It rained most of the night, after clearing a bit during the evening.
Tues. Oct. 3rd Very wet day + I could not go anywhere, so I wrote up notes etc in the bungalow. Mrs. Wright and Mrs. Sen, the handsome wife of the Bengali doctor, came to tea with the Huttons. I escorted the latter home + then did some shopping in the Canteen.
Wed. 4th Drenching morning. I had to give up going to KEGWEMA, about 10 miles away, where I wanted to photograph the carved door. Packed my kit for trek. We heard that the rivers were coming down in spate, which may make a difference to our itinerary, as it may involve postponing [sic] the punitive expedition against the Semas of PHESAMI, who have refused to pay the fine imposed upon them for taking 27 heads in a raid on another village last March. 50 men of the Assam Rifles are being mobilized under Major Wright for this expedition + should join us in the Sema Country. The state of the rivers may also prevent our extending our tour across the frontier to KERAMI.
Thurs. Oct. 5th First day of trek – KOHIMA to SAKHABOMA (13 miles). Very unpropitious morning, a thick mist + torrents of rain. The coolies went on fairly early. I started off with Nikrihu, half-an-hour or so before Hutton, on foot at 10.15 am., taking the path running below the Naga village on the S. side. General direction Easterly. Pelting with rain; the ‘path’ became a muddy streamlet + my shoes were full of mud + water in the first mile + I was drenched to the skin, though wearing a ‘waterproof’ coat. The cloud obliterated all views. We passed much cultivated land, both jhum + panikhet. The jhum rice (planted in March) was ripe + in one field was being harvested. The rain held on for the first 7 miles + then stopped, the sun almost coming out. We descended to the ZULLO R., which we reached at 1.15 pm. Crossed it by a small suspension bridge + climbed up the other side of the valley. About a mile from SAKHABOMA Hutton caught me up on his mare, + I transfered to this mare + rode the last mile, reaching the small I.B. at 2.15 pm. It had come on to rain again. Luckily one of my three coolies arrived shortly after with one of the joppas(carrying baskets) + I could change into dry things. When Hutton arrived we lunched + then had baths. SAKHABOMA is on a ridge + very prettily placed, looking down into the river valley. Blue orchids (Vanda caerulea) were growing on the trees round the bungalow, which stands amid Kassia pines. There is now no Naga village here and the land around is largely grazing ground for cattle + mithan.
Fri. Oct. 6th— We left SAKHABOMA at 8.20 a.m. for KEKRIMA (10 miles, nearly due S.), dropping down to the SIJJU R. There we picked up the horses after crossing the river on a light suspension bridge. We rode the rest of the way to KEKRIMA, steadily up hill all the way. Panikhets + jhum fields abundant, + in places areas of jungle only. Beautiful white orchids (large + small varieties) + some coloured ones in full flower on the ground. This is the CHAKRIMA ANGAMI country. The day was fine + hot, + the path the usual ledge-like track along the sides of hills. Scenery glorious. Several villages were seen on ridges to the S. (KHULABASA, CHEPHUSIMI etc.). We reached KEKRIMA at 11 a.m,; the coolies (21 in number + carrying loads of up to 60 lbs apiece) arriving shortly after, having come along at a good pace. Hutton was rather off colour, so I went by myself into the Angami village + looked around. A large village + quite close to the I.B.. There were many carved house-fronts + an interesting village gate, carved with mithan heads, human heads, + two inverted full-length human figures. The village was a sea of deep mud + indescribable filth. I went into some of the houses + had to drink three lots of zu. Bullet-bows, spring-traps + the usual paraphernalia hung up inside. The houses seem far less divided into compartments than those in Kohima. The pigs lay about inside the houses. Several women were weaving white cloth, not more than 15 inches wide. Some were ginning cotton with small double-roller ginning machines of wood of the Indian type. Outside the village is a group of genna stones. After drizzling for a time it came on to rain in true tropical fashion at 4 pm. The I.B. is a decent little two-roomed bungalow, quite comfortable.
Sun. Oct. 7th We left KEKRIMA at 8.15 am. and rode to TAKHUBAMA (7 miles). Fine day + magnificent views from the ridges. At first the track ran along the top of a ridge, the view to the N. including WOKHA mountain (the ‘home of the dead’) rising in step-like outline. Far beyond (? 200 miles away) the snows of the Himalayas were just visible. We had a fine view of KOHIMA to the N.W., with a long stretch of the road to MAO, + the Angami villages of KEGWÊMA, JAKHÂMA + VISWÊMA. To the S. villages of the KEZAMA group of ANGAMI. The hill-sides were extensively jhumed + the jungle was thin. Quantities of Vanda caerulea on the trees epiphytically + white ground orchids. Rhododendrons grow well at this level, as also spiraeas which are very fine. We halted for 1/2 hour or so at TAKHUBAMA at 10.15 am. The Angami village lies on a saddle forming a low col in a range of hills. A goodly crowd of natives assembled, amongst them being a boy carrying a bullet-bow with clay bullets. We walked on to MEZALOZUMI (5 miles) through lovely scenery, mostly through virgin jungle with tall timber trees + very fine bamboos, the trees draped with a wonderful tangle of climbing canes, vines etc. Streams rushed down all the gulleys which were heavily fern-clad. A brilliantly coloured Russell’s viper lay by the side of the path. It had evidently lately shed its old skin. A very poisonous species with fine black, yellow + brown markings. Arrived at MEZALOZUMI we lunched outside the village among some very large genna stones, erected in a row by one man. These I photographed with Nikrihu standing by them to give a scale. Then we went into the Angami village, in which some of the houses are roofed
[---FACING PAGE: Newspaper cutting of a photograph of a viper, labelled: “A fine specimen of the Russell’s viper,”---]
with large wooden slabs (perhaps 2 ft x 15 inches x 1 1/2 in), looking like stone slabs. I photod. one house with carved front. The houses tend to be divided longitudinally (instead of transversely) into compartments. Some of them have solid wooden doors carved with conventional mithan heads. Around the village some fine panikhets extend far up the hill-sides. From MEZALOZUMI we walked on + picked up the horses a couple of miles further on, + rode to YAZABAMI village + on to KEZOBAMI, where we pulled up at the I.B., arriving at 3 p.m. [38 1/2 miles from Kohima]. In the afternoon I took Nikrihu + looked round the village, which has about 300 houses, a large number of which have carved fronts (mithan heads, boars’ heads, human heads etc. carved in relief). Evidently a rich village. I took photos of some of the houses + of a woman weaving. Many of the paths through the village 7 or 8 inches deep in indescribable filth + I had to get one of the local Angamis to carry me along them on his back, with much success + to the huge amusement of the natives. In other places bamboos laid down or stepping stones made walking along these sewer-paths slightly easier, through the rains had made all slippery + side-slipping was to be avoided at all costs. I went over a great part of the village, watched a woman spinning cotton, the lower end of the spindle resting on the ground, the upper end being rapidly rolled along the bare thigh, causing it to spin, the whorl carrying on the rotation for some time. The gaonbura (head-man of village) took me to his house + sat me down in state on his scarlet blanket spread over a stool. Zu was duly drunk +
[---FACING PAGE: Two sketches, labelled: “Mithan’s head design carved in relief (3 one above the other) on wooden house-door (c. 4ft high & 3 ft wide), MEZALOZUMI.”; “Boar’s head design carved in relief on house-front. KEZOBAMI.”---]
we conversed (via Nikrihu) for some time. He showed me another way out of the village, which was far less filthy. It led to a gateway, the solid wooden door of which was very old + decayed, carved entirely with human heads in relief. A flight of rough stone steps led down from the gate through a narrow, very deep cutting, partly hewn out of the shaley rock + forming a fine defensive alley. Inside the village were some mithan cows + calves, great numbers of sows and piglings of all sizes. The dogs were aggressive + one heifer tried to go for us. The natives were very friendly + are great makers of clever clay models of people + animals. The clay models are, unfortunately, unbaked + very friable. Outside the village on the bridle-path is an Angami man’s grave, a small earth + stone platform on which stood a great many (70 or so) small upright boulders, recording the number of successful love-affairs of the deceased, who seemed to have had a busy life! Many genna stones stand around the village outskirts. Very ingenious spring-traps are used here for snaring small birds, a larger size being employed for snaring jungle-fowl, wild-cats etc. A striking feature in the village is the immense modhu vats, dug out of huge tree-trunks, some of the vats being 30 feet long + 3 ft or more in diameter. The day was very fine throughout, warmer, with a full-moon at night + nearly clear sky. A few fire-flies flew around the bungalow + there wasn’t a breath of wind. Altogether a delightful day + a great relief after constant rain and mist.
[---FACING PAGE: Coloured sketch, labelled: “Moth at KEZOBAMI”---]
Sun. Oct. 8 Hutton + I with Nihu, the Gaonbura of Kezobami and Cortot (H’s Sema boy) visited the SEMA village of SWEMI (an isolated Sema village amid Angami surroundings. The villagers still talk Sema, but have largely adopted Angami customs + intermarry with Angami. There are numerous carved house-fronts (the carvings chiefly of mithan heads + boar’s heads in bold relief. We went all round the village to the gaonbura’s house where we drank zü from banana-leaf cups, neatly rolled up with handles. The gaonbura was badly afflicted with bleeding at the noise, + at intervals scraped that organ with a chip picked up from the ground. The village is cleaner than the Angami ones. The houses are divided into two with a transverse partition, the dhan-pounding board + granary baskets in the front portion; cooking-, sleeping- + store accomodation in the back compartment. No carved doors to the village entrances, but some houses have slightly-carved doors. The large spring noose-traps (for catching wild-cats etc) were also seen here. A live mouse is tied up on the far side of the trap, when set. At one house a door-post was deeply notched, as a tally of gennas performed. I obtained an ingeniously modelled toy ‘percussion’ gun, which was given by one of the men. Bamboo threshing-bats, resembling polydactylous hands are used here.
In the afternoon I had a jungle walk by myself + photo’d a grave with 70 small upright boulders on the stone platform, a tally of deceased’s love affairs. It came on to rain heavily, + after standing up under a bamboo clump, I returned to the bungalow. Hutton tried cases on the verandah until it was quite dark.
[---FACING PAGE: Eight sketches, of which the first four are labelled: “House-gable ornament in SWEMI.”; “Gable-ornament of a man who has performed gennas.”; “Banana-leaf zü cup.”; “Boar’s head, carved in high relief in rows on house-front. SWEMI”; and the last four share the label: “Horned and hornless mithan-head carvings in relief on house-front. SWEMI.”---]
A large crowd of natives attended the ‘court’. It was difficult to make them keep silence. Many were smoking reeking pipes with bamboo receptacles below, for catching the tobacco-juice and saliva; the liquid is transferred to bamboo tubes + is kept for sipping at intervals—a noisome habit! [sketch] The evening + night were fine, though cold.
Mon. Oct. 9 We left KEZOBÁMI at 8.30 a.m. + walked about 5 miles down to the TECHELÚRA R., which was in spate. Crossing it by a small iron bridge, we mounted the horses + rode up hill to LOZÊMI (c. 8 1/2 miles; 47 m. from Kohima) arriving at 11. Very fine day + sun fairly hot. I went round the village (CHAKRIMA ANGAMI) + sketched + photo’d house-front carvings (boar’s head design very frequent). Millet, rice, native-grown tobacco + cotton were drying in the sun on large mats in front of the houses. Saw some bamboo transverse-flutes, which may only be played upon after the harvest, for fear of their inducing bad winds which might damage the crops. Among the hunting-trophies were skulls of sambhar, barking-deer, serow, bear, macaques + huluks. Cicadae in great numbers were fixed to the house-fronts. I had to drink zü at the invitation of an old woman, who pressed me to drink more. It is said to be genna not to fill up the cup twice. The village gates are poor + only decorated with human heads in relief, 7 to 9 [sketch] in number + poorly carved. The approach to the village was along a steep, narrow gully, cut out of the loose, shaley rock, gloomy + easily defended, with very rough
[---FACING PAGE: Five sketches, labelled: “Boar’s head carving.”; “Buffalo’s head carving.”; “Grave with two upright stones, near LOZEMI.”; “Man’s ear ornaments, tufts of rolled up cotton-wool through holes in the rim. LOZEMI.”; “Woman’s brass earring passed through upper rim of ear & supported by string over head.”---]
stone steps leading up to the gate. About 250 houses in the village. One house had a notched door-post, a tally of achievements. Most of the houses have wooden doors which can be barred up. The pigs resent it when the doors are closed + access to the houses is prevented. In the afternoon I walked some miles by myself, photo’d another grave with love-tally of upright stones + a wooden post carved at the top with a human head (indicating a head captured by the deceased). I also photo’d some panikhets (terraced rice-fields) + a pair of fine genna stones. The rice-fields are both panikhet + jhum fields. Fine evening. My rubbed heel rather troublesome.
Tues. Oct. 10 Left LOZÊMI at 8.45 a.m. + rode to PHEKROKÉJÎMA (7-7 1/2 m.; 55 m. from Kohima). Very fine, sunny morning. Beautiful scenery of mingled jungle, panikhets + jhum-fields. Arrived at the inspection-bungalow at 10.20 a.m. Hutton + I visited the Dispensary which was in charge of Khosa (an Angami of Khonoma) the sub-assistant surgeon, who spoke English fairly well. I then went with Nikrihu + the gaonbura to the Angami village + looked around it. There are few carved houses; but the gaonbura’s, at the top of the village, is carved with mithan heads + is elaborately painted in black, white + dull-red. Drunk zü with the gaonbura + looked round his house, which is fairly large + divided by a transverse partition into two compartments. I photo’d the house + also some others from an observation platform. Saw several graves outside the village with large wooden effigies of the deceased. The gaonbura gave me a bullet-bow + bullets. I then walked round the outskirts
of the village + photo’d graves with effigies. Later, I went again round the village with Khosa, the Angami dispenser, + saw a number of mithan + their calves, under the verandahs + in the open spaces. Friendly beasts, unlike the water-buffalo, which dislikes Europeans + emphasizes the fact. There were some platform-graves studded with numbers of small roughly-carved pegs, about 2 feet high, stuck into the grave, to record men killed by the deceased. [sketch] These were quite old graves. The carved mithan heads on house-fronts record genna feasts given, as also do the crossed ends of the gable-boards. Khosa gave me a fine drinking-horn (horn of a wild mithan killed by his father, who had given him the horn) At night at the bungalow the Anopheles mosquitoes were awful. In the bushes around were some curious glow-worms with long, pointed, retractile heads + a phosphorescent light at the extreme hind end.
Wed. Oct. 11 We had to leave the horses at PHEKROKEJIMA, as the rivers were in spate + it would be impossible to take horses over the native cane-suspension bridges. We started on a trek to MELOMI & KERAMI, away to the eastward. We walked 9 miles down to the TÜZU R., starting at 8.40 a.m. Most of the way was through jungle, with few clearings. Huluk Gibbons were heard down by the river, which we reached at 11.20 a.m. We had to cross the river (120-130 feet across), which was in heavy spate, by a native suspension-bridge, formed at a V-shaped cradle with a 5 to 6 inch foot-board, suspended by long rattans tied to trees on the opposite banks. The cradle was made of canes + bamboos in
loose open-work. As one walked over the whole bridge jumped + swayed violently, + the rushing stream below gave the impression of the bridge flying sideways upstream. With a second person on the bridge at the same time fresh + conflicting oscillations were set up. The foot-board was very insecurely fastened + slippery to boot + also parts of it were missing. One soon gets used to it, however, though the natives cross very gingerly, even with their advantage of bare feet; + Nikrihu didn’t like it at all + was very nervous. When we were all across camp was pitched at once on the left bank. Our two tents were quickly erected. Mine was about 7 ft square + the same high at the centre, with a “bath-room” at the back 2 ft square; double-fly tent with camp-bed, table + chair. Some of our Nagas were good swimmers + bathed + swam across the river. Hutton tried fishing for mahseer but without success the water being thick with silt. We disturbed two small otters on the opposite bank (probably the Clawless Otter, Amblonyx cinerea), + they took to the water. Flies, sandflies etc in myriads + very trying. I took photos of the bridge + crossed it to photo. the camp from the other bank, where I found some green orchids very like our Frog Orchis, but with much longer petals. Hundreds of swifts (all black but with white showing somewhere towards the tail) hawked swiftly along the river or soared very high. A Racket-tailed Drongo (Dissemurus paradiceus) sat on a high tree, + a pale-green-breasted bird, about the size of a jay, with red bill + dark streak across the eye, came close to the camp. After dark the sandflies, crickets, midges + mosquitoes simply swarmed to the lamp + made writing impossible + life intolerable. Cicadae tuned up busily. Some of the coolies were smoking pipes made from rolled up leaves.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Racket-tailed Drongo.”---]
Thurs. Oct. 12 We broke camp + left the Tüzu at 8.10 a.m. + walked to MELOMI arriving at 12.50. It was a long, grilling + tiring trek, at first along the Tüzu valley then along the RAZAIR R., after which it was a long pull up hill for several miles. Very little cultivation along the route – just jungle. Huluks + Barking-deer (muntjak) were heard, + a Barking-deer got up quite close to me. After about 6 miles, Hutton + the rest took the Naga path (shorter + steeper) + I followed the bridle-path with Nikrihu + the gaonbura of Melomi. Outside the village of MELOMI a lot of water-buffaloes were huddled together in a mud-pool wallowing in the mud, the sun glistening off their backs. No mithan are kept here, only water-buffaloes. I was very tired on arrival, but went round the village + took photos. The village is laid out in ‘streets’ the houses being largely alligned + facing one another. They are unlike the Angami houses + are only occasionally boarded in front; the walls being usually of cane-lattice. The interiors have two compartments divided thus [sketch] with lattice partition. Over the door runs a horizontal board, which is sometimes carved (when gennas have been performed. The houses are thatched + usually have an apsoidal store-room at the back. House doors of solid wood, swung on pin-hinges + often carved on the inside with the head of a buffalo in relief. [sketch] The hinge-pins are stepped in wood or bamboo sockets in plinth and lintel. Many women were weaving white cotton cloth. The tribe here is the NAKED RENGMA tribe, and the men usually go stark naked, though occasionally wearing a cloth round the waist with an end hanging down in front + very inadequate.
The women are naked to the waist, but wear a loin-cloth. Few ornaments were being worn. I watched one native cutting another’s hair by placing the edge of a dao under the hair + tapping the hair with a spatulate mallet. This produces the fashionable straight cut all round, + certainly does it very neatly. It is the prevailing hair-cutting method among the Nagas. Tall forked posts stand erect about the village. To these buffaloes have been tied for genna sacrifices, + they have buffaloes’ heads carved upon them in relief. For domestic cattle more slender forked posts are used, decorated with notches only.
The morungs are elaborately carved, though simple structures. The sleeping-places in these are merely a few boards raised on piles + very irregular + insecure-looking. The grain-stores are small house-like granaries on piles, with wide stone or wooden disks on the piles to keep rats out. Ladders lead to the granary platforms + are either notched logs or notched bamboos, the former are sometimes forked at the base to steady them. [sketch] The village is stockaded round with vertical stakes + horizontal bamboo poles. The entrances are sort of stiles, one of which is ingeniously made from bamboos bent over the top rail of the fence, the ends being fixed in the ground on either side. [sketch] The ‘bungalow’ is a very rough two-roomed shelter of poles with straw walls + roughly thatched roof. Each room with ‘bath-room’ at the back. Mud floors + doors of cane-work. A bench of poles + dirty matting serves as a bed, + mine was as hard as a table-top + far less even! A small hole for window; no
[---FACING PAGE: Three sketches, labelled: “Forked post used for buffalo sacrifice.”; “Hair-cutting.”; “Granary (one of many at one end of MELOMI.)”---]
furniture. The overhanging roof formed a ‘verandah’ in front. Very fine view of Mollen (‘Big Mountain’) which is over 10,000 ft. high. This district was overrun by the Kukis during their rebellion. Small black flies, called ‘dim-dams’ (the name is the best + most appropriate thing about them!) were very pestilential during the day, but there was none at night + practically no mosquitoes. Was disturbed in the night by a buffalo which passed close by emitting the weirdest grunts + groans. I thought that a large pig had got into my room. One rarely shuts the bungalow doors at night.
Fri. Oct. 13 Started at 8.40 a.m. to walk to PRIMI (c. 11 miles). The first part was mainly downhill through jhum + jungle, down to a small stream. Then several miles uphill. We arrived at the rest-house (of straw + poles, as at Melomi) at 12.10. We had halted for 10 minutes at the stream, to consume some sorghum-beer, which was quite pleasant + refreshing. The day was blazing hot + I sweated prodigiously. From PRIMI (which is a SOUTHERN SANGTAM village) there is a good distant view of the large village of THETCHÛMI, to the N.E. 1/2 E., and of SARAMATI (12,622 ft high) to the E.; MOLLEN to S., and the “RHINOCEROS HORN” Mt. to the N.. I saw no panikhets between Melomi & Primi, only jhum-fields, in which numbers of split bamboo clappers swung from long bamboo poles, & wooden strikers knocking against them in the wind caused a loud noise, scaring birds etc away. These bamboo clappers are split differently from the ordinary Naga clapper + have not been recorded before. I had a long argument with Hutton on the point, but he was convinced when an example was secured.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketches, labelled: “Bird-scaring clapper of bamboo MELOMI-PRIMI type.”; “Similar clapper, split differently as used by SEMAS etc.”---]
The MELOMI coolies mostly had dao-carriers with a facing of bone plaques [sketch] whereas at PRIMI a panelling of fine cane rods predominates. I saw [sketch] or [sketch] several daos with iron handles hammered round a wooden core. I spent a good time in PRIMI village – a very steep climb up from the rest-house. The village is not a rich one. The houses are arranged in irregular ‘streets’ with several large open spaces. Houses are divided with transverse partitions [sketch] into two rooms + there is an apsoidal store-room at the back, with door to the outside. The eaves overhang in front + form a verandah. Most houses have a front-door of wood carved on the inside with a buffaloe’s head in relief. The thatched roofs are low with angular gables. Where carved boards occur on the house-fronts (denoting gennas performed) they are vertical. Many heads of buffaloes + a few of mithan are fixed to the house-fronts, together with heads of sambhar, barking-deer, pigs etc as hunting-trophies. Y-shaped posts, for tethering buffaloes + mithan stand under the projecting roofs of most houses. A special tall forked post is used for sacrifices. The morungs have a carved wooden pillar standing erect in front of them (as at MELOMI). The morung sleeping-benches are of planks only a few inches from the ground. No weaving is done here. These Sangtams are very shy + nervous of cameras. The women bolted + I had great difficulty in persuading some men to be photographed. All the females, except quite old ones, kept well in the background. A small ‘lengta’ is worn by the men, + the women are naked to the waist. Circular white shell ear-ornaments + pendants are
[---FACING PAGE: Two sketches, labelled: “Buffaloes’ heads carved on house-doors”; “Forked post for tethering buffaloes & mithan.”---]
worn. Many women wear large circular wooden plugs in their ear-lobes; the men also wear red petals of flowers or brass-wire pendants or, even, safety-pins in theirs. Some of the men have cast-brass necklets with animals heads as ‘drops’. Tatuing is prevalent in both sexes. The men have their chests tatued [sketch] with this design, + [sketch] on their arms. The dao is used for all kinds of work – for chopping + carving wood, whittling off very fine shavings, scraping spear-shafts, hair-cutting, etc etc. A common + useful occupation is lice-chasing in each others’ heads – + nothing is wasted! The granaries, or dhan houses, are like those at MELOMI, but more scattered about the village. The doors of these granaries are made with bamboos hung from a horizontal pole. As at MELOMI, the solid wooden house doors are carved with a buffalo’s head on the inside. Some of the houses have a fence of large boulders [sketch] in front of the ‘verandah’. Bamboo-rats (Rhizomys) are kept as ‘pets’, but have a very poor time. I had some very good new zu in the village.
At dusk I visited the small stockaded fort which guards the district. There are 20-25 rifles. The fort contains a dispensary with a Kohima Angami dispenser. The huts inside are of bamboo-work. Well-placed in a commanding position. Small black flies very troublesome during the day + a few mosquitoes at night. There was a great flight of large winged ants during the evening. My heel still suppurating badly but no worse.
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Door of a dhan store (granary), made of bamboos hung from a pole. PRIMI. The granaries resemble those at MELOMI. The Lushai used similar doors”.---]
Sat. Oct. 14 We left PRIMI at 8.45 a.m. to walk to PHOZÂMI (c. 11 miles). It was downhill to the Tüzu R., which we crossed by a light iron suspension-bridge, very flexible + jumpy, recently erected alongside of the native cane suspension-bridge, which is of the usual construction. From there it was uphill for several miles, halting 2 or 3 times for 10 minutes. Hutton was off-colour + we went slowly. Arrived at the straw bungalow at PHOZAMI at 1.10 p.m. The bungalow is a poor one, infested with wood-boring beetles + rapidly being eaten away, a thick layer of wood-dust covering everything. Outside the native (SOUTHERN SANGTAM) village is a small look-out hut perched in a tree about 30 feet from the ground, access being given by a long bamboo notched for steps. I went all through the village + took a few photos. Most of the houses are thatched, but a few have stone-slab roofs. They are comparatively low, with ridged gable + have three compartments, the store-room at the back being usually apsoidal. The wall structure is largely of bamboo (vertical, flat rods lashed together). The houses are fairly well spaced + it is easy to go about, but ‘streets’ are quite ill-defined. Both buffaloes + mithan are kept, + the forked posts for typing them up are everywhere. Memorial erections to the dead consist of upright bamboos hung with various odds + ends of little value, + stand about the village. They probably bury the dead in the houses + dispose of the bones at a later period, determined by the time of sowing the crops. Many trophies of buffalo + mithan heads adorn the house-fronts; also sambhar (I saw one very fine head) + other wild beasts.
The natives rarely see more than one European a year + are shy + reserved + very camera-shy. The girls + children bolt on seeing one, but become bolder later. The girls are tatued on forehead, chin, arms + legs, some very young ones are tatued. Few of the men exhibit tatuing. All smoke their home-grown tobacco in bamboo pipes, or pipes with black pottery bowls + sometimes fitted with juice-catchers below. The men wear a small lengta gathered up between the legs. The women a loin-cloth, being naked to the waist. The children usually wear nothing at all. All wear cloth blankets over their shoulders if it turns cold. The houses are not carved + no weaving or pottery-making is done in the village. Towards dusk I had a walk by myself along a Naga path + watched mithan grazing in the low jungle. I saw myriads of winged white-ants issuing from ant-hills + flying away.
Sun. Oct. 15. We started from PHOZÂMI at 8.20 a.m, to walk to KERÂMI (about 18 miles). A fatiguing 4 miles up-hill at first; then down + up again to a second ‘col’ + then steadily downhill most of the way. Once over the range the scenery changes + Kassia pines form the jungle, reminding one of home scenery, but for the scattered dwarf palms growing beneath the pines, but patches of the usual jungle intervene. Heard some barking-deer (c. muntjak) + huluks, + saw a few Arakan Hill Partridges. Hot, sunny day, but the trees gave a good deal of shade. We halted three times for a few minutes. After a long march we reached
KERÂMI village (KALYO-KENGYU tribe) at 1.50 p.m. We passed straight through the village, just looking into one house where a recent (fairly!) corpse was being smoked before being suspended under the rafters until it could be finally dismembered, when the bones would be placed in a large earthenware pot in the granary, the coffin + remains of flesh etc being thrown over a small precipice at the edge of the village. This corpse was wrapped in mats + lay in a canoe-shaped dug-out coffin, which was raised above a fire on [sketch] stick trestles. This was inside the front room of the house, a light fencing surrounding the body etc. The smell was rather overpowering + one could not stop very long in the house (though the natives were living in it!!). The natives of this village seemed very shy + reserved, but it was two years since they had been visited by a white man (by Hutton in Nov., 1920). We descended a very long + steep notched-log ladder at the edge of the village + reached a ravine where we crossed a small stream; then we climbed up an exceedingly steep + rough track to the rest-house, about 1 mile from the village. Rest house very like the last two, but much worse – simply an erection of straw + thatch, with many large gaps in the walls, through which the wind whistled. Two small mud-floored rooms, separated by a low straw partition; each with ‘bath room’ far too low to stand upright in. Small black flies very troublesome. A wind got up in the afternoon + the icy draught drove me out of my bath as it was very chilling. My rubbed heel had been very painful all day + was suppurating badly. The gaonbura brought us a present of a chicken + some eggs. A
huge honey comb of a very large species of hornet was brought into camp full of fat squirming grubs about 1 1/2 inches long, much to the delight of our Nagas, who esteem the grubs a great luxury. I was interested in them zoologically + the enormous comb with its wriggling occupants was certainly a curious sight. I thought no more about them, however, until Hutton + I were having supper outside the bungalow, when Nihu (our Angami dobashi) brought a plateful of the maggots, [sketch], about this size + shape, which had been boiled, and offered them to us. Hutton said he would be damned if he would eat any of the beastly things – he never had + never would – + I felt equally repelled. At the same time, I did not want to hurt Nihu’s feelings by refusing his proferred ‘delicacy’; so I said to Hutton “look here, if you will I will.” That settled it + we each took one, pulled off the tough skin + with disgust on our faces popped them in our mouths. Our scowls gave place to smiles when we found that they tasted quite nice – of honey, in fact. It was the sight of their great fat white bodies + yellowish heads, which had caused the feeling of disgust at this kind of ‘bonne bouche’.
I had to put on khaki riding-breeches to protect my legs from the black flies, which were maddening.
Monday, Oct. 16 We stayed at Kerami the whole day. Of this I was glad, as it gave me a chance of trying to doctor my heel, which has been suppurating badly for 10 days + made walking exceedingly painful. Hutton + I went down to the village soon after 9 a.m.
[---FACING PAGE: Profile sketch, labelled: “Nihu, An Angami dobashi of Kohima.”---]
We had to enter the village by mounting the high notched-log ladder, which was slippery for boots + ballancing was difficult. Hutton spent some time counting the houses in the village [60 all told] + in interviewing the principal men. This is a Kalyo-Kengyu village some distance outside the administered area + liable to head-hunting raids at any time, as head-hunting continues merrily in the unadministered parts of the Hills. Afterwards, Hutton went down to the Nantâlet R. to fish – no result. I stayed in the village till 2 pm. The village is a fairly open one, on a spur jetting out from the mountain side. It is at a low elevation, though fairly high above the river. The hill-sides drop away down towards the plains of Northern Burma, which could almost be seen from the rest-house. There is a large open space in the village centre. The houses are low and all are thatched. They are usually partitioned into three compartments with lattice-work walls. The doors, one at the front + one at the back, are of lattice-work. The central room is fairly large, with one or two fireplaces in the middle of the floor, each with three converging stones over the hearth, upon which a pot can stand for cooking. The back room is a zu-store with a back door. In one of the houses I saw another corpse being smoke-cured in a boat-shaped wooden coffin supported on crossed sticks over the fire. The body was covered with matting; a lattice screen surrounded the fire. The stench was pretty bad. I next went into one of the dhan store-houses in which were numbers of very large pottery jars,
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch. Labelled: “Hearth, KERAMI.”---]
used for storing rice etc. Some of them contained the skull + bones of dead relatives, which are preserved in the store-houses. One of the pots was broken + the bones + skull had fallen out onto the floor. No one seemed to worry. A great deal of pottery is made in Kerami; the clay is mixed with broken up sherds and mica schist, + is patted into shape with a flat mallet, a smooth stone being held inside as ‘resistance’. No pottery was being made at the time, nor was any weaving being done, as work was genna until the harvest genna was over. The natives of the village were very shy of me + made themselves scarce, but, luckily, Nikrihu found an old woman who had cut her head open, having fallen while carrying a heavy load of wood + cut her forehead through to the bone against a stone. He brought her to me + I took her in hand. I spent about 20 minutes washing the wound in permanganate of potash solution + managed to get rid of most of the thick coating of dirt, in which she was sheathed from head to foot, + then bandaged with lint + boric acid. I was very slow + deliberate throughout + did not turn round, but was aware of the fact that the natives were gathering round me + were trying to see what I was doing. Just what I wanted! to get into friendly touch with them. When I had finished I got up + started filling my pipe + lighting it + only then turned round + faced the crowd, which seemed quite reassured + no longer fled from me. I had got on good terms with them + was invited to drink zu in some of the houses. I even persuaded a group (including the interpreter, his brother + the latter’s young wife) to be photographed, though with some difficulty, as they were afraid of the camera. The women are nearly all tattooed + I sketched
some of the designs. The tattooing is done by women + the art is handed on + is only practised by a few experts. A number of long thorns attached adze-wise to a wooden handle form the tattooing instrument, which is tapped with a light mallet. 6 to 8 people hold down the patient who screams with pain, the process being a very severe one.
Inside the village are numerous in memoriam stands of bamboo poles upon which hang heads of mithan + buffaloes, pots, gourds etc. Food is placed for the spirit of the dead while a corpse remains in a house, and outside the village offerings, often quite lavish, of rice, Job’s-tears etc. are made to the spirits of relatives. Crossbows are in use here + I obtained a good example. I also got one of the large bamboo bells with several clappers, which are hung upon the necks of mithan. [sketch]
Tuesday, Oct. 17 There was considerable delay in collecting the coolies for the loads; so I started off at 8.25 a.m ahead of Hutton, and went via the notched log ladder through Kerami village on the return march to Phozami. I walked, with Nikrihu, for about 11 miles without stopping, most of the way up hill, through alternations of open old-jhum land, jungle and pine-woods. Small palms (? Phoenix) were growing among the pines. I reached the first col at about 11, +, after descending for some distance, mounted again to the second col, where a Naga path leads off to Pucchimi village. At this point I sat + waited for Hutton + the rest of the saffari. They were not long in coming + after tiffin we left the main tract + followed the side track to Pucchimi. This Sangtam village
[---FACING PAGE: Sketches of designs, labelled: “Young woman’s leg tattoo.”; “Young woman’s leg tattoo. KERAMI.”; “Tattoo on arm.”; “on shoulder.”; “on forehead.”---]
resembles in general the others in this neighbourhood. Only about 60 houses rather widely spaced. The population is large for the number of houses. The men wear small lengtas. Some were wearing tigers’ teeth pendants to their bead necklets – or imitation tigers’ teeth. [sketch] A few men had a tattoo-mark, [sketch], on their arms. The women were mostly naked to the waist and tattooed on the legs, arms, chin + forehead. Several had very refined faces. The faces were very variable in type, some of the men having markedly jewish features. The whole crowd was very inquisitive + surrounded us staring, though the younger women and girls kept in the background + bolted when looked at. This village had not seen a white man for about four years, but there was little real shyness. Some erections of bamboo had objects hanging upon them (in one case, which I photo’d, squares cut from tree-fern stems) representing the number of heads taken by the deceased warrior in whose honour the erections had been raised. Most of the houses were thatched with sheets of bark covering the gable ridge. One house had a roof of slatey-stone slabs, this being a speciality of the Kalyo-Kengyu area; [sketch] the gable-ridge being bark-covered as in the thatched houses. We spent some time in this village, and then walked along a very steep Naga path down + up the sides of ravines to Phozami. At a small stream in a ravine just below Phozami, there is a very salt spring, and here salt is obtained by evaporation (v. sketches). Several small huts containing crude evaporating furnaces are near the spring. Circular discs of salt are made + are traded over a wide area of the Hills.
I took some of the salt away for analysis. I also drank some of the water, which was raised in a bamboo cup at the end of a long bamboo rod from a small well, made by sinking a hollowed-out tree-trunk into the ground to below the level of the spring water. The water was very strongly saline + very nasty. From here a stiff climb brought us up to Phozami village, + we arrived at the rest-house just after 5 pm., after a walk of 20 miles at least. Luckily my heel had been less troublesome + I was not particularly tired. It rained a little in the afternoon + came on steadily during the night. In passing through the village I saw the lower jaw of an elephant just outside a hut. The elephant was one of a herd which had come up from Burma, and it had been killed in the hills above Phozami, at about 6000 ft.
Wednesday, Oct. 18 We left Phozami at 8.30 a.m. Hutton went on ahead + I followed more leisurely with Nikrihu. It was downhill to the Tüzu R., except where another ravine had to be crossed. Huluk gibbons were heard calling loudly near Phozami. I reached the light iron suspension bridge over the Tüzu at 11 a.m. + there caught up Hutton. From the Tüzu there was a long, steep uphill grind under a scorching sun, which took it out of me, + I was very glad to meet a Primi boy carrying millet beer in gourds; a drink most acceptable + the zu tasted quite good. I reached Primi (c. 11 miles) at about 12.30 pm. feeling much more tired than I had yesterday, when I had walked double the distance. The hot sun was largely responsible. I went all round the village in the afternoon. A man was hafting
an axe, whittling down the haft by scraping + shaving with a dao. [sketch] The blade was plano-convex in section + had an angular cutting-edge, which was bevelled. I saw another man making a small basket very cleverly (basket-work is a man’s industry, weaving + pottery-making being womens’ work). I sketched the carvings on one of the morungs. At night Barking-deer (c. muntjak) were heard calling near the village.
Thursday, Oct. 19 We started from Primi at 8.30 a.m. for Melomi (c. 11 miles). Downhill for an hour, uphill for nearly an hour, then down for half-an-hour + up for 3/4 hour. We halted + drank zu, + then had about 1 3/4 miles to Melomi, which we reached at 12.30 pm. Most of the way had been through jhum land with patches of jungle at intervals. Blazing sun. We had heard Huluks calling soon after starting. While passing the cultivated areas I examined the split-bamboo clappers set up for bird-scaring, which differ from the type usually seen in the Naga Hills [v.p. _____ [left blank]]. There is a fine view of Primi from a spot about 2 miles from Melomi. Melomi is a large village + I went all round it during the afternoon. I watched the women weaving, pounding dhan etc, + the men making mats + baskets. I photo’d some of the backs of the houses which had platforms erected on piles, extending from the apsoidal zu store-rooms. The piles compensate for the falling away of the ground at the backs of the houses. I also photo’d a morung with wooden pillar in the front carved with a buffalo’s head at the top + the figure of a dog at the bottom; and with horizontal beam over the
doorway, carved with numbers of human heads in relief. There are several ‘streets’ in the village, and the grain-stores are in large groups away from the houses. Heard Barking-deer in the evening.
Friday, Oct. 20 Left Melomi at 8.40 a.m. by the Naga path leading direct down to the Tüzu R.. Very steep descent; reached the river in an hour. On the way down, not far from Melomi, were some small ghost-houses with offerings to the dead, evidently old ones falling into decay. A short way through a small panikhet led to the track which runs along the left bank of the Tüzu, mounts high above it and then descends to the river at the cane suspension bridge. Huluks (Hylobates niger) were heard near the river. We lunched on the left bank + then crossed the cane bridge, having just passed a very large coolie convoy of rations going to Primi fort – about 60 or more carriers – we found the horses waiting on the other bank + rode up to Phekrokejema, arriving at about 2.30 pm. [About 18 miles by the Naga path route from Melomi]. Tibbu, Hutton’s Irish terrier was lost on the way up, + may have been caught by a leopard. Both leopards + bears are numerous around here. I was very sorry, as Tibbu + I were great friends. Nikrihu went down with malaria for the fourth time since leaving Kohima. Fine all day. Mosquitoes very troublesome in the late afternoon. Extensive panikhets around Phekrokejema.
Saturday Oct. 21 Tibbu turned up this morning without explaining his disappearance. We left Phekrokejema at 9 am. and rode to Chipoketâmi (13 1/2 miles) very slowly. The track was mainly high up along the right bank of the Tüzu R.
We passed through an area of mixed jungle + jhum, with very fine views. Heard many Huluks calling. I saw a few raptorial birds, some buzzard-like, others resembling Kestrels; also a flock of scarlet minivets with dark heads, the females and juveniles lacking the scarlet body of the males. We had to wait for lunch till nearly 3, as the coolies had not arrived. Our coolies were Naked Rengmas from Lophoma + were very varied in facial type, some with very aquiline noses, other with broad, concave noses, protruding lips, +, in some cases, decidedly wavy hair. I went round Chipoketami village (mixed Angami + Sema) after lunch. The burial of a man was in progress + a large crowd was keening round the grave. The body had been swathed in cloth + was lying at the bottom of a deep grave outside the house. The filling in was quickly done, + three tall bamboos were erected over the grave, two carrying the heads of recently-killed mithan, the third bore the man’s shield, ceremonial tail and other personal effects. Then the whole raised earth-mound was cased in with large stones in platform shape. Other similar graves were about the village; one of them having fire-making sticks in addition to other trophies. I went to the gaonbura’s house, carved with mithan heads, ceremonial ‘tails’, etc., and drank zu with the gaonbura’s wife + looked around the large two-roomed house. A very large dhan-pounding board (c. 5 feet across) stood in the front room with several huge store-baskets. The back room, for cooking + sleeping, had a hearth with three upright stones for the boiling-pot to stand upon. Most of the houses were fronted with large, thick, vertical boards; some of the walls were of bamboo-lattice work instead. The fronts of many were covered with trophies of pigs’ skulls + skulls of sambhar, Barking-deer, bears and
[---FACING PAGE: Two sketches, labelled: “Carvings of ceremonial ‘tails’, on gaonbura’s house front. CHIPOKETAMI.”; “Mithan’s head design, carved in relief (with circular ears) on gaonbura’s house-front. CHIPOKETAMI.”---]
monkeys. One house was decorated with a large number of scapulae. Some cross-bows and large, long-handled fishing-nets hung under the verandahs, and axes, like those at Primi + Melomi, lay about. No industries were in progress, probably because of the harvest genna.
Sunday, Oct. 22 We left Chipoketami at 9 am. + rode to Sakhai, about 12 miles [78 1/2 miles from Kohima], following the valley of the Tüzu, high above the river. At first there were areas of jungle, which gradually thin out as the extensive jhum lands of the Semas are approached. I saw a vividly-green snake on the track (non-poisonous, I fancy), and, later a dull greenish one, about 3 ft long + said to be very poisonous, passed between my feet as I walked. I saw a large black squirrel in the jungle. We passed close to a Sema (mixed) village + led the horses down a steep hill to cross a small river; and then rode up to Sakhai. There were few patches of jungle here, most of the hillsides having been jhumed. A few panikhets can be seen in the neighbourhood, the system having recently been introduced. Millet and Job’s tears (Coix lacryma) seem to be the chief crops of these Semas, the latter being a principal food. We went to the Inspection bungalow, arriving a little before 1 pm. I went round the village with the gaonbura + drank beer made from millet, Job’s tears and rice, quite pleasant to drink, though not to look at. A number of Y-shaped posts, recording mithan sacrifices, stand, singly or in groups, in the village. The houses are walled with bamboo lattice, the thatched roofs reaching to within 2 or 3 feet from the ground. They are apsoidal at both ends + do not have an open verandah. The front is of lattice work + has a doorway at one side. [sketch] There is a door at the back + also a side door. In the gaonbura’s house there are three compartments. A large front-room with dhan-pounding board; a small middle
[---FACING PAGE: Unlabelled sketch of a net and axe.---]
room with sleeping platform, and a back-room for sleeping and cooking. Ceremonial ornaments (‘tail, etc) were hanging up, wrapped in cloth, to keep them clean. A basket containing 6 puppies stood in the front room. There was a dog in the village which had been badly mauled by a tiger. Puppies + pigs were everywhere, inside + outside the houses. Small store-houses on low piles, but without mat-proof discs, were grouped together on the outskirts of the village. The houses are very openly spaced + not crowded together like the Angami houses. The village is picturesquely placed amid great clumps of tall bamboos. In the evening I came across the mithan herd just outside the village; the beasts were very tame. Men wear the lengta; the women wear a short skirt-cloth + are usually naked to the waist. Men’s necklets were of conch-shell beads only, while the women were wearing necklets of mixed conch-shell, carnelian + other beads. Stature is short. The men have no long hair at the back, the hair being uniformly trimmed all round. [sketch] Their ears are pierced with one or more large holes for wads of cotton-wool + small brass rings are worn in the ear-lobes.
Monday, Oct. 23 We left Sakhai followed by an excited mob, clamouring about some dispute which Hutton was to adjudicate upon. The row was deafening + was varied by the constant throat-clearing + spitting so characteristic of all Nagas. H. had to investigate a land-claim, so when about half-way to Sakhalu, I left the whole lot jabbering away and rode on on Hutton’s mare, reaching Sakhalu (11 miles) a little before noon. H. turned up later on my pony. The views were very fine. The country very open, from jhuming operations, and virgin forest was only seen in patches; the rest being either under cultivation, or reverting to young jungle. Several Sema villages were passed, all small.
[---FACING PAGE: Ground plan of the gaonbura’s house, labelled with rooms and objects.---]
Coix lacryma, sorghum + millet are chiefly grown, with some rice, and a few small panikhets were seen low down in the valleys. I visited the village and had to drink zu in Sakhalu’s large house, and also in his brother’s – the two brothers hate each other – Sakhalu’s house had been burnt three times + reerected. It is spacious with large front room where the dhan-pounding board stands. There is a large, thatched apsoidal front, taking the place of the verandah of Angami houses; a smaller central room contains sleeping-boards; a large back room with two doors (back + side) + cooking-hearths of the usual 3-stone variety. At the back is a small apsoidal store-room. Two carved tree-trunks support the roof in the front room, which is further decorated with heads of sacrificed mithan. A number of forked posts, carved with mithan heads stand outside the house, + sitting-out platforms are alongside, with seats cut out upon them. Sakhalu has 5 wives and his brother 6. The brother’s house is similar though smaller + less ornate. Forked mithan posts, each recording a sacrifice performed, stand in numbers in front of the houses where gennas have been performed. The houses are widely spaced. I saw a woman using a vannus for winnowing grain in the wind. I had a 4 mile walk afterwards, but it got quite dark + I lost the path in passing through the village to the bungalow. I was eventually put straight by one of the village Semas. Quite chilly here, + I was glad of a sweater.
Tuesday, Oct. 24 We rode from Sakhalu to Baimho (Abakoghomnomi = “the place of the moulded dung”) about 8 1/2 miles + arrived at 11.30 a.m. The hills are now almost entirely old or new jhum-land. After going 3 miles we stopped at Sheyepu village + spent some time in the gaonbura’s house, drinking millet beer.
[---FACING PAGE: Two sketches, labelled: “Mithan-sacrifice post, SAKHALU.”; “Usual carving of mithan’s head. SAKHALU.”---]
I was given a decorated cuff of plaited cane + orchid stems. The house was in three compartments, like other Sema houses, apsoidal in front with the carved roof-supporting post inside in consequence. There was a small apsoidal store at the back. A fairly spacious house. Great numbers of the bamboo ‘necktie’ hoes were drying on a platform over the fire. The women were wearing very fine necklets of shell and carnelian beads, + some of their skirts were beautifully decorated with rows of yellow + deep orange beads. Soon after we had reached Baimho, J.P. Mills turned up from Mogokchung with his safari. I was very glad to see him. Several cases were tried by Hutton + Mills on the bungalow verandah, including the recent head-hunting raids by Sema villages, in the course of which one village, Phesami, had taken 27 heads this year. Several villages were implicated, with Zukishé of Phesami, a notorious head-hunter + were-tiger, as leader + chief ‘villain of the piece’. Heavy fines (in mithan) were imposed on Zukishé + his colleagues. Another case was a Sakhalu one, of rape of an exceedingly small + wrinkled old woman. The defendant was very dramatic + amusing. Many Sakhalu people had come on to Baimho with us, + a large crowd attended the trials.
I looked round Baimho village, which is much like other Sema villages in the district. Some houses are apsoidal at both ends, others have a flat front with overhanging gable, + the carved pillar is, in his case, outside, under the verandah roof. The apsoidal front + back seem obviously additions, as the main roof does not carry round. All the walls are of chequer lattice-work of bamboo.
Wednesday, Oct. 25th We stayed at Baimho all day. Hutton + I occupied the two-roomed bungalow + Mills slept in his tent. When I joined the other two at breakfast, they both appeared concerned as to how I had slept last night. So anxious did they appear to be as to whether I had had a good night, that
[---FACING PAGE: Profile sketch, labelled: “Zukishe of Phesami (sketched at Baimho.”---]
I began to suspect the reason. I remembered their having told me, a long while ago, that if I came to the Naga Hills, I would spend one night in a room which was very unpleasantly haunted. They would not tell me the name of the village, but leave me to find out by my own experience. It appeared that Mills seen a particularly unpleasant ‘ghost’, crawl on all fours across the floor of his room + pass right through the wall of plaited cane-work. It had given him a very unpleasant sensation + remained fixed in his memory. When, several months later, he met Hutton at Kohima, Mills asked him if there was anything queer about that particular bungalow, and Hutton agreed that there certainly was. When they compared experiences + made independent rough sketches of what they had independantly seen, it transpired that the apparition was identical in both cases. A gross, distorted figure somewhat resembling a Naga child with a greatly enlarged head + distorted features, which crawled on all fours across the room. Both had awakened with feelings of horrible oppression to see this sight as it passed by. The similarity of their experiences in his room at intervals of many months was distinctly curious + they were anxious to put the room to a further test – to ‘try it on the dog’ (i.e. myself) when occasion offered. Well, I was able to assure them that I had passed quite a good night, though I had to admit that I had had unusually heavy + vivid dreams, such as I had not experienced elsewhere, though the dreams had not been at all markedly unpleasant, as far as I could remember, + I must have broken the heart of the ‘ghost’ as it did not put in a visible appearance + I was cheated of an interesting psychic phenomenon, whose interpretation is still a mystery. I’m not sure whether I was disappointed or not, at having missed the apparition. Probably not!
[Inserted into the pages of the diary is “Mills’ sketch of the “apparition”.”, probably added by Balfour; and a “Note on “Mills’ sketch of the “apparition””, added later, in 1994.]
After breakfast, I went with Mills to the lower village for a house count. Later, Hutton, Mills + I went to the upper village + sat in the house of Luzukhu’s father. Luzukhu gave me a hair-fringed panji-basket + gave me an exhibition of fire-making in the Naga fashion, with a cane thong sawn round a forked stick which was held down on the ground. He got fire in 20 seconds twice running + I photo’d him doing it. After some trials of cases at the bungalow, I photo’d a group of 5 Semas, who had been condemned to pay a fine for having raided a Sangtam village + taken 27 heads his year. They were Zükishe, the prime culprit, his brother and 3 members of his clan. From Baimho bungalow can be seen some of the villages implicated in that raid, a few miles off on the other side of the Tüzu R. valley. A report was received of a head having been taken eight days ago by Chesorr village.
I went for a stroll round the upper village +, hearing sounds indicating a commotion of considerable violence, I went to see what was happening. Zükishe was evidently in a towering rage + was literally foaming at the mouth + was looking around for a weapon with which to settle what was evidently a heated argument. I could not learn what the trouble was, but as it seemed likely to end in ‘wigs on the green’ with heads attached, I sent down for Hutton, who, when he turned up, found out that the row had arisen over dispute as to the apportionment of the fine. Zükishe was trying to foist part of his fine upon some of his other colleagues. He was wheeled into line + things quieted down after a while.
I had a walk in the afternoon + incidentally collected some bark which is used as soap by these Nagas. We had land-crabs for dinner – very good!
Thurs. Oct. 26 We left Baimho in the morning. Hutton walked and Mills + I rode part + walked the rest of the way to Aichi-Sagami (c. 11 miles). The track was down hill to a stream which we crossed by a bridge of poles covered with
cane-matting, very springy. We rode up to Yesami village (Sema) + Mills + I were invited to visit the village. We went through it + were treated to madhu. A small village with nothing remarkable. We rode on again to Sagami having been met by the gaonbura + the village buffoon – a man of wit + considerable acting power. In the afternoon Mills + I went over the various separate sections of the village, which straggles a long way, + drank madhu in 3 or 4 houses. The houses are widely-spaced + here + there almost form streets. They vary in type. Most have the roof projecting far over the front, forming a verandah which is sometimes fenced round with a three-foot fence. Some have both front + back apsoidal, other only the back apsoidal. Walls mainly of bamboo lattice + matwork of various kinds; thatched roofs. Two rooms, the front one smaller than the back room, a lattice partition between them. Poor carvings on the houses, or none. Near the houses were forked posts for mithan sacrifices, + inferior ones for cattle-sacrifices. One house had three empty honey-combs attached to the front “to prevent wild cats from entering” (perhaps the “wild cats” were spirits or witches). One some graves small panji-baskets are hung, to the number of the raids in which the deceased had joined. On one grave were hung wooden pendants [sketch] recording the number of game animals killed, + skulls recording tame beasts slaughtered. In the houses are seen strings of sword-bean seeds, or bits of gourds or bundles of sticks, used as tallies of measures of rice etc. Stores of grain are kept in small hut-shaped granaries on low piles. Bamboos split into spokes at the top are fixed [sketch] to some houses as receptacles for offerings of meat, leaves etc. Toy crossbows are used here, though not serious ones. The looped bamboo weeding hoes hang in scores in the huts, drying in the smoke; and I noticed spring noose-traps like the Angami ones. There are
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Mithan’s head carving on house-pillar, SAGAMI.”---]
extremely fine views from Sagami, which is on a ridge, an extension from the Patkoi Range, forming the watershed of the Tüzu R., which flows into Burma, and the Dikkhu R., which flows into the Brahmaputra. Many villages were in sight, including several which were concerned in this year’s head-hunting raids between Semas + Sangtam + Yachumi villages. Japvo was visible in the far distance + Nankam Mt.
Friday Oct. 27 A splendid early morning view of the Himalayan snow-clad range, towering over Bhutan, perfectly sharp + clear through probably 130 miles away. Hutton, Mills + I walked to Seromi (4-5 miles). I noticed a number of cast-away fire-making sticks along the track [sketch], all of the forked type used with a flexible cane ‘saw’. In Seromi, we first went to Kiyâku’s house + drank madhu with him. He gave me a cowrie-studded gauntlet. I photo’d the front of his house + sketched his carved pillars + the two wooden hornbills erected over the front gable. Also took a group of children, who had crowded round me while I sketched. The houses are flat-fronted with overhanging gable roof; lattice-work walls; two main rooms. In other houses I was presented with 2 dao-holders; 2 dao handles, a fine dao + the horns of a Serow. We went to see the making of dyed goats’-hair fringes, for use as ornament by [arrow referring to the label “HEYETHA” on the facing page} and his son. Very skilful work. I got samples of materials + stages in the process. Seromi is a large village + well-spaced, covering a considerable area, I photo’d a grave erection on which were rows of (1) small panji baskets, signifying raids, (2) pottery vessels, recording heads taken, (3) gourds symbolising parts of heads shared with others, (4) heads of animals sacrificed at gennas, (5) skulls of beasts killed in the chase, (6) slender, upright sticks, each with a red tuft of hair at the top, being tallies of love-affairs or intrigues. We went back to Sagami
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Carved pillar of Kiyaku’s house, SEROMI.” And the label “HEYETHA.”---]
in time for a late lunch, Mills’ + my ponies having met us half way. We had a thrilling gallop along the very narrow track-ledge with rock-wall on one side + 200 ft sheer fall on the other, very exhilarating + rather crazy. Clouds came up + made a dense fog during the afternoon, but the night was clear.
Saturday Oct. 28th We left Sagami for Longsa (15 miles – 126 miles from Kohima). Mills + I rode part of the way + walked the rest. There was a fine view of Wokha Hill (the “abode of the dead”, the “roadway of the dead” showing clearly as a white streak below the top. A cave is said to exist there, but no one has visited it + it is almost inaccessible). Longsa village is a mile from the Inspection Bungalow. Two small bridges over deep ditches form the approach, one of two slender poles + the other a narrow plank. The houses face one another in ‘streets’, the path along the streets is of the roughest description, being bare bed-rock + one must scramble up + down the rocks to get along. The houses are flat-fronted with walls of interlaced bamboo strips; the front gable overhangs considerably on the slope + there is an additional small overhang at the ridge. [sketch] They are built on piles + have large platforms at the back + sometimes also in front. The height from ground to floor may be 10 or 12 feet in places, + the platforms may be 20 feet above the ground which slopes away at the back. The floors are of coarse bamboo matwork on joist-poles, very springy, + in places rotten, so that there is a fair chance of going right through the floor. The houses have mainly one large room, but slightly divided into compartments, but there is an entrance lobby. Near the village entrance are three sitting-out platforms of bamboo + at the entrance there is a shelter, serving as guard- or sentry-hut, just a roof without sides, decorated with comb-like “enemies’ hands” of split bamboo along
the ridge-pole, [sketch], like those on many of the houses. Three more platforms close to this shelter are used at the election of Elders of the three phratries. A large morung, or bachelors’ house stands near the entry to the village. It had been burnt last year + the carved pillar nearly destroyed. Nearby is a huge hollow-log gong, 20-25 feet long, with curiously shaped end; it lies horizontally under a shelter roof. Another is at the far end of the village. Numerous carved mithan-sacrifice posts stand about the village, some carved with hornbill heads or with human heads, + impaled on the tops of the forked ends are young chickens, used in divination. A sacrificed mithan was being cut up + distributed in one of the ‘streets’ – a gory and evil-smelling job. I sketched one of the carved + painted boards which are fixed horizontally above the door of houses of persons who have performed certain gennas (carved with human + hornbills’ heads). In the head-man’s home I sketched a much-treasured, ancient ceremonial dao, + saw some chabili(currency pieces) of old + new types, the latter of larger size. The head man, Tiyatemthen, gave me a fine woman’s cloth embroidered with red dogs’ hair, and a man’s cloth with wax-painted white band across it, both very good examples, a substantial gift. We visited the artist who executes the designs upon the white cloth bands. He uses a dark, waxy juice, applied with a simple wooden stile. The pigment-pot is of bamboo [sketch] with projection for fixing into a support. During tea at the Bungalow, three raw cows’ legs were brought for presentation + dumped on the verandah. The village is an old-established one (AO). I saw women cleaning cotton with a small bamboo roller on a smooth stone, the seeds being squeezed out by the roller. The cotton is then flicked out into a flocculent mass with a simple bow whose string is plucked with the fingers. In the late afternoon I heard that a new carved pillar
for the burnt morung was being hauled from the valley jungle to the village. It was dark + I hurried off with one of the natives of the village, a dobashi named Rapatamchen, + reached the village just as the pillar was entering it. It was a huge tree trunk, carved, + was being carried by about 100 men on a huge raft of bamboos with lateral bamboo poles. The pillar was lashed to the raft + the framework poles were lashed together with strips of bamboo rind, either flat or twisted. The pillar was about 30-35 ft long, just a stout tree trunk, adzed out with relief figures of two tigers ([male] + [female]) below, a pair of hornbills above these, and at the top two human heads. The weight of the huge pillar was tremendous +, together with the massive carrying-raft, taxed the powers of the 100 or more bearers. The carriers unified their efforts by chanting rhythmically, the lifting song having no words; an element of rudimentary harmony was noticeable. Every now + then, at a signal, the fundamental note was lowered by about a full tone. An immense crowd of the natives accompanied the procession, many burning large flares made of bundles of reeds, giving a very wild and picturesque effect. I followed closely watching the proceedings. The ‘street’ was narrow, compared with the great width of the raft, + it was particularly difficult to negociate a corner. If a house front was in the way, it was just torn down, or was swept away by the raft. Mithan-sacrifice posts were rooted up. The platform of one house was crowded with people +, in turning a corner, the raft carried away the piles which supported it, the occupants just escaping into the house before the platform crashed, but only just in time! No one seemed to worry about such trifles. The procession went laboriously right through the village + the pillar was deposited at the spot where the new morung is to be erected. The whole scene was splendidly barbaric, and I don’t know why the village of thatched houses
was not burnt down, through the wind-blown sparks from the flares catching the thatch + lattice-work of the houses. It escaped by a miracle. I would not have missed the ceremony for anything. Late at night I returned to the Bungalow by torch-light.
Sunday, Oct. 29th. We walked half + rode half of the way from Longsa to Mokokchung. Mills’s bungalow there is extremely nice, in a splendid compound, part cultivated with flowers + vegetables, and part wild. He has his own tea plantation. Peach + mulberry trees stand on a knoll from which very fine views may be had. I took all my clothes out of the joppas, to air them, as they were all mildewed with the damp.
Monday, Oct. 30th. I went down to the Court House, where a murder trial was to be conducted by Hutton. An Ao man was accused of murdering his son + of trying to murder his mother. The latter, whom I saw, had a very deep scar on the back of her neck, a very near thing! The accused was led with a rope by a sergeant from the gaol to the Court House. I did not stop for the trial, but went on by myself to visit the Ao village, about a mile from the Station. Nihu (of Kohima) and Nakhu (head-man of Mokokchung) overtook me + I went on with them. We visited Noksangbah’s house + drank madhu with him. He gave me a shield-plume of dyed goats’ hair, also a pump-drill and an iron looped-hoe. The houses are in ‘streets’ + resemble those at Longsa, with high platforms at the back. We went on to one of the gaonbura’s houses (mongsem khel). This is pretentious, of wood with corrugated iron roof + a staircase inside, too modernised to be interesting. A number of them were congregated there, + we drank madhu. I also had to eat some boiled hornet maggots, not
as good as those I was regaled with at Kerami. This man’s mithan-sacrifice posts numbered 45, a very large number, indicating a great many gennas performed. While walking about the village, I heard the sounds of a primitive clarinet being played some way off +, after chasing around, I found the small boy musician + promptly purchased his instrument, which was of a type hitherto unrecorded from the Naga Hills. It was unknown to Hutton + Mills, + I was delighted to get it. In the afternoon I returned to the village to see the huge village hollow-log gongs. One stands in the Chongli khel section + the other in that of the Mongsem khel. They are about 30 ft v 32 ft long respectively, each carved at one end with a huge figure-head. They lie under shelter roofs + have enormous hinged strikers as well as many dumb-bell shaped beaters. The morungs are built with sloping roofs, high in front. The front wall is bowed + has a vertical decorative panel of mat-work. Inside are several pillars of wood, carved with elephants, tigers, hornbills + human figures. I went into one house where a lot of women were singing + dancing in honour of the owner. The dance was simply a slow circling round the hearth, taking a side-step with the left foot + then stamping with the right foot. An old woman sang a few words + the chorus sang a monotonous refrain of a few notes, and so on ad lib. The room was packed + full of smoke. The general refrain [musical notes] sounded like this. Went back to the Bungalow, where Hazel, the Anglo-Indian doctor, dined with us.
Tuesday, Oct. 31st. Cases were tried by Mills on his verandah, a lot of Sangtam litigants having come in. Three or four were made to take the oath on a leopard’s skull. The skull was placed on the ground + then men were first made to repeat a formula in sentences. The swearer then made an impassioned
declamation of his own, calling down upon his head disasters if he committed perjury; and then, he seized the leopard’s jaw bone and bit it, clinching the oath. The scene was interesting + the men were in deadly earnest. Two of them leapt about brandishing their daos after taking the oath.
Hutton started off on his return journey to Kohima, taking my pony with him, as being no longer wanted.
A good many of the men here (especially visiting Changs) wear the conical grass-work hats made by the Kalyo-Kengyu, some with a tuft at the back. One of these hats was given to me + a Chongli Ao of Mokokchung gave me a tinder-box. I had a short walk around the compound + along a track which encircles the hill. Very beautiful. Tree ferns grow to a considerable height here. In the afternoon I went with Mills, Rogers + F.P. Clarke (two tea-planters from Nowgong, on a holiday in the Hills) to Ungma village, 3 miles off, to see some mithan-sacrifice dances + ceremonies. The village is arranged in ‘streets’. Houses with slanting gables overhanging the fronts, with walls + front of lattice-work. The houses of men who have performed the full series of genna sacrifices have the verandah enclosed with an angular bow-front, sometimes with a carved pillar erect along the angle + carved with tigers, hornbills, human heads etc., just like the fronts + carved pillars of the morungs. The roof-crests are decorated with comb-like ‘enemies’ hands’ interdigitating. There were some large morungs with roofs sloping downwards towards the backs, + with angular, bowed fronts + carved posts. The carvings on one post represented 2 tigers, pairs of hornbills, human head, + a small tiger at the top. Pairs of snakes were carved on others, and on one an elephant. Inside the entrance is a low transverse mound of coarse bamboo matting, to form an obstacle to raiders. The interior is divided into ‘cubicles’ with sleeping platforms. Near each morung is a shed
with thatched roof + open sides, under which is a huge monoxylic hollow gong, 30-35 feet long, with the front end carved into a conventionalized buffalo’s head (see sketches). The sound from these dug-out gongs is deep + carries far. A number of boys beat rhythmically on the edges of the hollow with a pair of hinged log-strikers + with dumbbell-shaped pounders. The rhythm varies + chanting accompanies the performance.
Some of the mithan-sacrifice posts (forked) were carved with small mithan heads [sketch]. Some have carved hornbill heads in complete relief, others human heads, carved on them.
On arrival at the place of sacrifice, we found to fine mithan bulls tied up to posts, with open-work baskets round their necks + hornbill feathers. They were to be sacrificed later, at night. Presently the women dancers began to arrive, all similarly dressed in deep-red blanket cloaks of elaborate pattern (worn by rich mens’ wives + daughters), wearing strings of carnelian + other beads, brass chains etc round their heads. Their hair was done up by tying round at the back, to form a deep chignon into which some had inserted hornbill (Dichoceros sp.) tail-feathers, to the number of the gennas performed by their husbands. Old women down to quite small girls took part in the dance, forming a circle (with a space between the leader and the smallest dancer). They slowly circled round + round with short steps, turning inwards + forward in rhythmic sequence, chanting in low tones + making short stabbing movements with the right hand, which carried a dao or a narrow bunch of long bamboo leaves. In their ears the same leaves were worn. Many of the women smoked their pipes nonchalantly all the time. Their dancing was very slow, subdued + solemn. The men also formed their own line of dancers, dressed up to the nines, with bear-skin chaplets set radially with tail-feathers