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. Orcaella has 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 very slippery + 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
of hornbills, fringed baldricks worn over one or the other shoulder + supporting either fringed panji-baskets or the panji-basket with long, projecting fringed ‘tail’. They performed their own circular dances, carrying spears + daos, circling round an old man, who chanted the tribal traditions in short phrases, which were answered by refrains from the dancers. At one period the male dancers circled round the dance-ring of women + joined in the chanting. Inside the mens’ dance-circle now + then solo men dancers gave vigorous dance-displays with spears which were cleverly spun round in the hand, thrown up + caught again, while the dancers jumped + paced up + down in a lithe, agile + vigorous manner, symbolic of attacks upon enemies. Presently the man who was performing the genna entered the circle, elaborately got up with hornbill feathers on his head, etc., to perform ceremonies. He appealed to the powers that be to give him the good fortune and success of his ancestors. He carried a cock in one hand, stroking it with the other (symbolic of the plucking alive of former days, now prohibited by Government). Later, the cock was sacrificed by having its head cut off with a bamboo knife, its blood being smeared on the mithan post. Its entrails were drawn out + augury was taken by splanchroscopy. The cock’s body was then impaled on a bamboo spike + stuck on the top of the mithan post. Offerings of zu were made by the man + his wife, by pouring onto the ground from special banana-leaf cups, which were afterwards fixed to the mithan post. The performer of the genna invited us into his house, to drink zu with him. He was a fine-looking fairly young man. The dancing continued and we left them still at it (they go on for four days or so, beginning at about 4 pm. each day + continuing well into the night). We could not stay for the mithan-killing ritual, which was to be performed that night. The mithan would first
be lightly struck on the head with a stone, then ceremonially ‘speared’ with a bamboo spear, + finally despatched with a spear. Formerly, the poor beasts were stamped + beaten to death – this is now forbidden.
We returned to Mokokchung by 3/4 moonlight, + the two planters came to dinner. One of them, F.P. Clarke, knew Jack Freeborn in Oxford, having stayed with his brother, as a p.g., some while ago.
Wed. Nov. 1. I wrote up my notes in the morning. I had a magnificent view of Himalayan peaks to the N-W. early in the morning, the snow-range showing up pink and wonderfully clear. I got some trees + shrubs cut down to open up this splendid view. Three peaks, 23,000 to 24,000 ft high, were very conspicuous. Some transfrontier Changs came in after breakfast, + I bought a fine dao from one of them for 15 rupees (the dao was made by a Kalyo-Kengyu Naga of Shinyu, in the Saramati Range, + was brought in by Chingmok, chief of Chingmei, who sold it to me). Some of these Changs performed their ‘head-calling’ dance, which was very amusing. The ‘head-caller’ danced + paced calling out boastfully the heads he had taken, every now + then beating his hip with his hide shield as he leapt in the air. He was closely followed by another man, functioning a jester, who made caustic + sceptical comments upon the boaster’s statements, turning them into ridicule, which elicited roars of laughter from the assembled crowd. One of these Changs had been implicated in the Sangtam head-hunting raids this year, + he gave a head-hunting dance with great skill + agility. In the afternoon I went by myself + revisited Mokokchung village, especially the morungs + xylophones, + made sketches. I also went to the place, just outside the village, beyond the Chongli morung, where the dead are placed on small machâns
which are roofed over like the houses. The form of the roof + front in this miniature houses on piles, repeats that of the actual house of the dead man + some have the double, projecting front gable. The angular, bowed front of the houses of genna performers. Some had small reproductions of the carved posts erected in front of the houses, carved with tigers, hornbills, etc. Miniature wooden pillars [sketch] indicate the number of mithan sacrificed by the deceased. Ornaments, either actual or imitation, wooden models of daos, spears etc adorn the structures. The bodies are neatly laid in wooden coffins without lids + are covered over with cloths. These burial platforms are not tended afterwards + the whole is allowed to decay; the structure eventually collapses + the skulls + bones lie on the ground where they fall + rot away. I had seen the same outside Ungma village, where skulls + portions of skulls lay around, even on the path. They must on no account be touched. The burial platforms are mostly grouped together but a bad (apotia) death involves the body being placed at some distance from the village + very little is done to it.
Thurs. Nov. 2. Some wind + slight rain early in the morning, clearing later. The Himalayas showed up well for a short time, until the valley clouds rose + obscured the view. Spent the day mostly in labelling + packing specimens, working up rough sketches etc. Had a walk round the track which encircles the hill on which the fort + bungalow stand. It rained heavily at night with thunder + lightning.
Friday, 3. Raining heavily during early morning, but cleared by breakfast time. Spent morning in the bungalow, writing. After early lunch Mills + I went down to a large open grassy space to watch dances by Ao Nagas from Ungma.
Nearly 300 men had come to take part, and when we arrived they were already practising a war dance in massed formation. The effect was very striking + impressive – a solid phalanx of warriors, elaborately decorated with feathered fringes of dyed hair etc, moving rhythmically forwards + backwards in the strong sunlight, the blades of their daos + spears flashing + glinting with dazzling effect. Two chairs had been placed for us on a small knoll, + we sat surrounded by Ao women + children + a few Goorkalis. First, there was a great advance of the entire mass of dancers in close formation, 6 deep + line abreast, about 270 in all. They marched right up to us, with short hopping steps, waving their spears + daos, + then kept retreating + advancing to rhythm marked by a large-double-membrane drum + by a chant on deep notes, in octaves, with high harmonic notes interposed. This was a Mo-yari (Sema dance). At the end, they sang a salute to us, barbaric + impressive. They next danced the Shubu-yari (“Ornament dance) in long procession, single-file, the line being about 500 yards long. This was followed by the Ali-champa-yari (“Earth-stamping” dance) in double columns, line ahead, with hopping steps, the two lines alternately facing forward + facing each other, as they proceeded in sinuous curves. The 4th dance was the _____ [left blank]yari (“fish” dance) in single column, line ahead, holding hands + dancing forward with a fairly quick, limping step, zigzagging [sketch]. The step later was quickened with a quicker rhythm of drum-beating and chanting [musical notes] repeated, [musical notes], [musical notes], [musical notes], next came the Tejang-tanashi-yari (“leg-lifting” dance) with more complicated steps. One very long line, hands held; forward step + hop, turn at right-angles + stamp twice with right foot, the arms waived rhythmically forward. The line wound about in curves, wound itself up [sketch] and unwound itself again with great precision.
Other dances followed. Many of the dancers were very elaborately caparisoned with bear-skin frontlets in which were stuck tail-feathers of hornbills (Dichoceros), holes in the ears stuffed with wads of cotton-wool, necklets of boars’ tusks and shell beads, hair-fringed baldricks etc. Some worn the ‘enemies teeth’ ornament at the back of the shoulders, most worn a large, oblong, stiff apron covered closely with cowrie shells, +, at the back, either a fringed panji-basket, or the same with long deeply-fringed ‘tail’. Some wore the Kalyo-Kengyu gaiters of red + yellow plaited work and cowrie-covered gauntlets with red hair fringes. While the main dances were proceeding there were several individual solo dancers, performing independently with much vigour, posturing + shouting. Several quite old men could not resist showing off their skill, + would tether along with feeble dancing steps, rather pathetically, but evidently quite happy. The drum was the only instrument used + set the rhythm + also signalled to the dancers (e.g. when to stop). The dancing proceeded continuously for three hours. When we rose to go, they stopped + gave us another vocal salute, + then asked to be allowed to escort us back to the bungalow. So we returned in state with 4 be-feathered premiers danseurs in front, capering + brandishing spears + daos, while behind us came a solid phalanx of nearly 300 dancers, marching with a lilting step + singing complimentary improvisations + refrains. When we reached the Fort parade ground, I thought they would have had enough. Not a bit of it; they formed up another dance circle + started off again as fresh as ever, soloists included. I watched for some time (Mills having gone to his office) + had zu pressed upon me. When Mills returned, we went off to the bungalow, leaving the dancers still at it. How long they went on I do not know, but the noise had not ceased when I turned in at 11.30 pm! A well-spent afternoon!
Sat. Nov. 4 I packed up for the new trek with Mills + we started at 9 am. for Mongsemdi (14 miles) with 25 coolies carrying loads, various dobashis and other camping functionaries. It had rained during the night. Soon after starting + before reaching Mokokchung village, I had a nasty heart attack, which made me unconscious + black in the face for some time, much to Mills’s anxiety. Pretty sharp, but it passed off after a while + I was able to mount my pony (hired from Ngaku) + rode all the way to Mongsemdi, through fine jungle scenery, varied by ‘jhum’ cultivation areas. We passed near the Mission Station (American Baptist), 9 miles from Mokokchung. To the right we could see over the Chang country + several Ao villages were in sight to the left. The plains of Assam could be clearly seen in the far distance, the sands of Brahmaputra showing up distinctly. We passed a Himalayan Bear’s sitting out place in a tree (looking like a huge bird’s nest), used chiefly in wet weather. Some ‘sword-bean’ trees were seen, + also a tree with large, globular fruit growing directly from the stem, the seeds of which are used for curing leprosy. I noticed that banana leaves often exhibit one ore more rows of graduated holes, running in straight lines transversely across the leaves (just as I had seen in bamboo + canna leaves). Ngaku (our Chang dobashi) explained it by saying that an insect, or grub, bored right through the young leaf, while still tightly rolled up + that when the leaf expanded + flattened out, the tunnel so formed was converted into an allignment of holes, diminishing in size from one end to the other.* We reached Mongsemdi at about 2 pm. The Inspection Bungalow is exactly at the entrance to the village, so that one sees much of the ordinary village life going on from it. Rice-husking with the winnowing basket (the Roman ‘vannus’) was in operation on all sides (the rice being tossed in the air, so that the wind carried away the light husks + the grain fell back into the basket. Cotton-cleaning with a small wooden roller on a flat stone was going on; weaving + other industries. We went through the main village, visiting the morung (Chang style) + its huge xylophone at the far end. Then we traversed the new
portion of the village, passing a new morung + finding another small new one with xylophone. Both these morungs are poor ones. Between the two parts of the village lies the burial place, where the bodies are placed on machans, raised well above ground on bamboo piles. A thatched gable roof covers the platform without side or end walls. The form + decoration of the roof indicates the status of the deceased. Some have the small gable-extension in front, [sketch] others not. The longitudinal main poles of the platform often end in upturned Hornbills’ heads, carved in wood, and a board painted with symbols may run transversely below the gable-end. The body, wrapped in cloth, lies under a gable-shaped cover of twilled bamboo matting. This cover has a carved gable-ridge ending with Hornbill heads in front. Ornaments, appliances etc (or models of them) hang abundantly over a rich man’s platform in front + at the sides, + cloths hang from the bamboo poles. Some graves are fenced round with upright bamboos + long panjis, forming a surrounding chevaux de frise. Heads taken are represented by carved wooden ones or by gourds; mithan sacrifices by rough wooden mithan-heads + by the conventional short posts which record these events outside houses. Forked posts also relate to mithan sacrifices. As in other Ao burials, these machans are left uncared for, to collapse + crumble away eventually. Many skulls + bones lie around on the ground, + no one may touch them. The newly-erected burial platforms, with their fresh ‘properties’, coloured cloths + fringes of red hair, look very attractive, in marked contrast with those which are collapsing + decaying in the unsightly ruin which dominates the surrounding Golgotha. The jungle situation of the cemetery is very pretty. Just beyond, is a timbered knoll on which Mills had seen, somewhile ago, a tiger laid out on a simple machan + left to rot away just like a human body (a tiger is regarded as a man). The tiger was in an
advanced state of putrefaction, as also was an adjacent human body, and the stench was indescribable. But no effluvium seems to affect the olfactory senses of the Ao Nagas!
The houses in Mongsemdi are mostly alligned in definite ‘streets’, the surface of which is much smoother than in other Ao villages seen so far. The overhanging gable-ends often meet across the street. The house-fronts vary with the owner’s status. Some have plain, flat fronts, over which the roof-end projects, forming a verandah. Others have a rounded secondary roof over the verandah, which is sometimes closed in with an apsoidal wall of bamboo lattice-work. Others, again, have the ‘secondary’ roof projecting in angular form, not always reaching the ground. The full, enclosed, angular front indicates the completion of the full tale of genna sacrifices. These verandah front walls are well-woven in twilled bamboo-strip work + the vertical angle has a decorated, narrow panel down it, or, sometimes, a carved pillar with animal figures, after the type of morung posts. All the houses are highest at the front gable-end, + slope downwards towards the back. Many of the gable ridges are decorated with “enemies’ hands’ of split bamboo, + some have broken pots fixed on spikes on the ridge-pole. Inside, there is a small anteroom, usually on ground level. A large back-room is usually raised a couple of feet + has a notched-log ladder leading to it. [sketch] The floor of the anteroom is just stamped-down mud, the raised floor of the main back room is of bamboo strips (c. 1 inch wide), interwoven in chequer-pattern [sketch] + very springy. There is a mud hearth with three upright stones. At the back of the house a door leads onto a large platform on piles (to compensate for the sloping away of the ground). On this much of the work is done.
Mills brought in a Kaleege pheasant which he had shot.
Sun. Nov. 5 We stayed at Mongsemdi all day + a second night. Mills went off to try to bag a Barking deer (muntjak), but without success. I spent most of the morning + afternoon in the village, sketching + photographing. I visited another morung, quite a fine one, in the Ao style, with carved pillar before the angle-bow front. I photo’d this morung from the left side. At the back was a built-up platform, + inside the front entrance there was the characteristic transverse rampart [sketch] of coarse bamboo matting, very strong + slippery. An enemy entering is placed at great disadvantage in having to surmount this slippery obstacle. Unmarried girls occupy a special house at night for their sleeping quarters, a very simple structure, undecorated.
Passing along the main ‘street’ I came upon a pig-killing operation. The unfortunate beast was tied up to a carrying pole, + having been turned so that the right side was uppermost, it was being dispatched by forcing a bamboo skewer into its heart – very deliberately – a most unpleasing sight – and sound – When I returned, not long after, the pig was already partly cooked + was being divided up according to rule. I photo’d part of the main ‘street’, and also the ‘Tortoise Rock’, a huge, rounded rock, resembling a tortoise + situated in the main ‘street’. Offerings are made to this rock particularly after harvest + when new jhums are being made. Several women were weaving white cotton cloth, cleaning cotton from seeds + flicking it out with a small bow, the string of which was plucked with the fingers.
In the gaonbura’s house I saw a youth making fire with a stick + cane thong. He failed a few times, but eventually he got a spark in 25 seconds. I brought his apparatus away. I went down to some jhum fields before lunch. The crops had been reaped, the long stubble was standing. Small dhan houses were dotted about the fields, with a fenced-off compartment
for temporary storing + a roofed-over space in front, open at the sides, used as a threshing floor, the grain being trodden out by women. A horizontal steadying bar is used, + this must never be destroyed. Fences and rough hedges bound the fields. Late into the evening in the village several men were pounding dhan in double wooden mortars with long wooden pestles [sketch], chanting a rhythmic chant without words. This went on till about 10 p.m., by full moon, in preparation for a puja ceremony to be performed by someone ‘related’ to the workers.
Mon. Nov. 6 We started walking from Mongsemdi to Yongiemdi at 8.30 am., following a Naga path through jhums + passing small crops of Black Sesamum (S. Indicum) and of the better white oil-seed plant (Perilla ocimoides), both used for oil for food + for annointing the body; lentils, which when nearly ripe have the stems cut through, to cause the beans to dry off; sweet potatoes, taro, tobacco and loofah (used for scouring dishes etc.). These various crops are planted in small patches amid the general rice-crop. We reached a small stream + crossed it by a plank. Here I got into a carrying chair which had been improvised for me with an armchair from Mongsemdi bungalow, fitted with bamboo carrying-poles, lashed with cane thongs. I was carried uphill by 6 coolies, who chanted rhythmically all the way, each giving a single note (like a Russian horn band). The narrow path was very steep + it was difficult to get the chair up. It swayed + tipped so as nearly to throw me out. The way was largely through very tall sword-grass the leaves of which cut one badly when one was not on the look out for it. We halted once for a rest, + Ngaku taught me how to make “dead men’s rice baskets” out of leaves. Ngaku (a Chang) is an excellent dobashi + is full of information about Naga lore. He constantly pointed out to me things of interest + was very keen for me to see everything.
A couple of large Hornbills (Dichoceros) flew over our heads, making a tremendous noise with their wings. Just outside Yongiemdi village, the chief, Yanchu (Lungkung Yangchu) met us. He is a fine, autocratic man (a Chang), who was one of the first to volunteer for service in France during the War, and to enlist Nagas for labour corps [I had seen many Nagas engaged in road-making outside Peronne during 1916 + I had only just missed meeting the Naga contingent in Biserta, where they went to recoup after being wrecked off Sicily]. Yanchu is a splendid type, whose word is law. We went to his house, a fine, large one, with verandah covered with a secondary roof, where the dhan-pounding mortars stand, + where there are carved pillars, one with buffalo’s head carved in full relief + another with pairs of Hornbills. The large main room opens from the verandah + is in two parts, one on ground level with mud floor and hearth with three upright stones for pots; the other part raised + floored with coarse bamboo twilled matting. In this room hung a number of the thin, circular brass gongs, used as currency, the old ones, hammered out being worth 6 to 8 rupees, the new ones 1 1/2 rupees. Some fine bamboo drinking vessels (Tobu-tung of the Chang) were hanging up, and a type of hoe, new to me, but of characteristic Chang type, with Y-shaped handles cut from forked branches, with iron blade. Yanchu gave me one of these. I saw many crossbows with bamboo bows + trigger very close to the butt end of the stock, used chiefly for setting as game-traps. The village (mainly Chang, but with Phom admixture) is laid out in ‘streets’, fairly well kept + very open. 60-70 houses only. The projecting gables overlap in the ‘streets’, + the slightly hog-backed roofs (except in Yanchu’s house) do not rise in front, like those of the Ao Nagas. The only morung is not used for sleeping in, but contains a huge xylophone, 31 1/2 feet long + carved at one end with a curiously combined elephant’s head + buffalo’s head – the only instance of an elephant’s head I have seen on these xylophones. We passed through the village + up to the small
bungalow which is placed on a very commanding knoll; overlooking the village + with magnificent views all round, over the Chang + Phom country to the East, + the Konyak country to the north-east. The plains of Assam could be seen in the distance + the country we had left to the south. The villages of Susu and Ungrurr, lying to the north of Mongsemdi, could be clearly seen. Mills had his tent erected + I occupied the bungalow, which is very simple with bamboo twill-work walls + no doors, + with only one minute square hole for a window; mud floor + practically no furniture. A tin bucket did duty as a ‘bath’. I sketched + photo’d in the village after tiffin, and copied some women’s tatoo marks, with much difficulty as the women + girls were extremely nervous + shy. We watched a man, Chiéching, a very noted Chang artist, at work decorating a bamboo drinking vessel, by engraving it with a chisel made from a large nail. He had wonderful control + engraved his patterns by eye along. He also demonstrated decoration by poker-work on a dao-carrier, using a splint of hard wood with smouldering end. His patterns were beautifully executed. We looked into a few of the houses. I measured at Yanchu’s house an extremely fine mithan head with a span of 50 1/2 inches. Both mithan + buffalo heads are hung up on house-fronts, to record sacrifices performed [2 buffalo = 1 mithan, except in the case of a special large breed of buffalo, when the values are reversed]. A cow was being cut up for distribution in the middle of the main street – a very messy sight! A Barking-deer (muntjak) fawn, captured the day before, was brought to us; a very pretty little beast + not particularly frightened. A fine, cool night, with moon just past the full.
Tues. Nov. 7th I got up at 6 am to see the sunrise. The snowy range of Himalayas looked splendid in the background + I made a rough sketch of them. We went + visited some of the chief Yongiemdi people in their houses, + hob nobbed with them.
I photo’d Yanchu + his wife, the latter very shy + difficult to persuade to submit. I took them on the platform at the back of their house. We walked to Salulamang (an Ao village with Phom admixture). I was carried uphill in the chair from the small river at the bottom of the valley. In the village I sketched a xylophone + a carved post at a roofed-over sitting-out place. The houses are partly in the Ao style, with rising gable-roof, + partly in the Phom style with slightly hog-backed ridge. This visit made a digression from our route to Susu. From Salulamang we crossed two valleys + streams, the last by a cane suspension bridge. The very steep climb up to Susu I did in the chair. Outside Susu, the richest man in the Ao country met us, very grimy + poorly dressed! We passed right through the village + camped on the bridle-path at a point 19 miles from Mokokchung. We had left the bridle path at Mongsemdi + had been on Naga paths since then. Most of us felt seedy + off-colour, I don’t know why. Headaches were prevalent + I had a splitting one. I walked about Susu village in the afternoon – a good-sized village built along a ridge. In the morungs, which are of Konyak type, the xylophones resemble closely those at Yongiemdi. The big morung is open in front + has a front platform on piles, from which the interior is in view. The usual buffalo-horn trumpets + double-membrane drums are kept in the morung. The front gable is carried high up + there are some fine carved posts. Many well-carved posts stand in front of rich’s men’s houses. The village is a rich one, owing largely to its acting as distributing centre for salt from the plains of Assam. The crowd was a great nuisance + difficult to keep back while I was sketching. I returned to camp very tired + feeling really seedy, + lay down to read Fabre’s “Insect Adventures”, but the noise of a large crowd of Naga litigants all disputing was awful. They yelled + shouted all at once, a few yards from my tent + went on for hours, till Mills came + drove them off with vigorous + well-aimed kicks. Passers by stood + stared at me in
my tent in a very disconcerting manner, but I was too seedy to buzz things at them. It was a warm night for the time of year, but we had a large log fire burning outside the tents + the reports from exploding bamboo joints on the cooking fires sounded like rifle shots, but, doubtless, kept the evil spirits away. A leopard came onto the ridge + my pony bolted but was recaptured after a long chase. I was given a fringed spear-shaft in the village. Fine moonlight night.
Wed. Nov. 8th. Mills walked + I rode from Susu to Chantongia (7 miles); good bridle-path, being the main route from Mokokchung (26 miles). Jungle + jhum scenery. We arrived at Chantongia bungalow, a good one, at about 11.30 am; + I went and sketched a xylophone at a morung close by. There are two morungs close together, due to a split in a fratry. The larger one has a xylophone, the other none. There are some interesting carvings on the pillars. The morungs are of the Konyak (open) type. After lunch I went round the village, upon which the bungalow looks down. It is a scattered village, having a separate ‘Christian’ section. It is almost purely Ao with slight Phom + Konyak admixture. The morung gable-roof hardly slopes backwards + has a small overhanging end-gable. There is an entrance platform with notched-log ladder. The xylophone, [sketch]- in transverse section, occupies the whole left side of the morung, + on the right are small partitioned compartments, open above. Buffalo-horn trumpets + double-membrane drums hang inside. I visited three morungs. In one of the ‘streets’ I picked up a fire-making stick (used) which was not split into a fork in the usual way; the first I had seen. On enquiry, I learned that his kind was used for divination only, it not being essential to obtain a spark for this purpose, but only to char + break the thong in the process. Later, we had a demonstration of divination by stick + cane thong
frictional fire-making. When the thong broke at the end of the sawing process the fibres standing out on the two broken ends were examined to see whether they were longer on the strip of cane held in the right hand or on that held in the left; if the former, the omen was good. [The thong in the right hand represents the person or unit consulting the omen, that in the left represents the opposing force, e.g. disease, enemy, game hunted, evil spirits, etc]. I sketched a woman’s tattoo marks but had great difficulty, as she kept bolting + having to be fetched back. I watched a woman weaving white cotton cloth on the back platform of a house. She worked at a great pace + was evidently very expert. In the evening several Aos from Yacham came in, including some notorious head-hunters who had recently raided Kamahu village. [8 of the captured skulls, confiscated by Hutton when punishing the village, are now in the Pitt Rivers Museum]. One of these men wore a conical canework cap decorated with 8 pairs of boars’ tusks, indicated 8 heads taken. The small boys have their heads shaven, leaving a small, rectangular patch of hair on the forehead. Women wear large spiral brass earrings, passed through the upper rim of the ear + suspended by a string passing over the head. Many women wore in the ear-lobe a rectangular glass pendant. [sketch] Mills procured for me a tattooing set + a flute, + one of the Nagas got me some wild Job’s tears (coix lacryma), both long + short kinds, from some marshy ground nearby.
Thurs. Nov. 9th We left Chantongia for Merangkong (c. 8 miles, c. 3000 ft. o.d.). I rode all the way, feeling very tired, aching + sleepy. We had to pass close to a wild bees’ nest in a hole in a tree trunk, + we had to proceed with great caution in absolute silence, as these bees are most aggressive + have sometimes even stung people to death. We filed by one at a time, the Nagas covering their heads with
their blankets + blankets were thrown over the ponies. We got past without accident + I remounted + rode up to the bungalow at Merangkong. By that time I was very shivery + aching all over + feeling very queer. I lay down on the bunk + Mills took my temperature (103°) + diagnosed malaria. I turned in in my clothes, just as I was, + Mills piled blankets on me, to make me sweat. I was very restless + feverish + barely half-conscious all day, but in the evening, after a tremendous sweating, I felt better. But the day was lost + I missed the chance of seeing Merangkong + an Ao dance which had been arranged + had to be put off.
Fri. Nov. 10th Felt much better, but stayed in bed + was fed on bovril till well into the morning. Then I got up + sketched the view across the Assam plains northwards. Glorious view. The Brahmaputra could be seen +, with glasses, some of the tea-plantation houses. At night the searchlights of the Brahmaputra steamers can be seen, thirty or so miles away). The near valley was full of dense white clouds, making a ‘cotton-wool’ foreground. Later in the day Dr. Bailey (American Baptist Mission) arrived from Impore (32 miles away), having been sent for by Mills. He had ridden over, bringing his tent + coolies. He said that I certainly had malaria + examined my heart, about which he was moderately reassuring, provided that I avoided walking up hill + kept out of the sun as much as possible etc. He gave me some medicines to take. In the evening some of Dr. Bailey’s Mission Nagas sang hymns, translated into Ao. The effect was far from pleasing as the voices were hard + raucous. The performance would not compare with the Angami singing their own native songs, such as I had heard in Khonoma on Sept. 18th. European music does not suit Nagas.
Sat. Nov. 11th Said goodbye to Dr. Bailey who had been most kind in coming such a long way to see me. Mills + I left Merangkong for Tamlu (8 miles). I rode all the way. On the way we stopped at Chota-Kanching, a Konyak village, about half-way to Tamlu. I sketched a xylophone in a morung + noted a very fine monoxylic stamping-board, 11 1/2 yds long, 3 ft. wide + 1 1/2 ft. deep, [sketch]-in section, carved + painted. It lay transversely across the morung verandah. The morung was an open-fronted one (Konyak style). On reaching Tamlu (Konyak village), we went to the bungalow, which is a good one, standing on a knoll, near the site of the old fort, + in the middle of the village, with beautiful distant views. Yongiemdi could be seen on a high peak in the mid-distance. The morungs are interesting + I spent some time sketching in them. There are three (the Manglam, Tangsa-bang + Umpang morungs). The two former have their dug-out xylophones inside the verandah, along one side. Pillars and beams are carved with elephants, buffaloes, huluks, hornbills + pythons etc. Huge stamping-boards lie transversely across the verandahs. In the main room at the back of the verandah resonant dancing-floors of enormous planks are laid. The smaller back room is mainly a store. Some of the back rooms have miniature xylophones for boys to practise on + amuse themselves with. We procured one of these from Wong, the head-man of Tamlu. I saw a jews-harp being made + annexed it; also a bull-roarer. Bull-roarers are used to bring on rain. Boys, but not girls, may use it as a toy, but only at times when rain does not matter, or is wanted. The houses are thatched with Hyphaena Palm leaves, the roofs reaching down to within two feet of the ground at the sides. The walls are of bamboos set vertically close together, or of bamboo mat-work. Rich mens’ houses have carved pillars outside, usually with carved mithan heads one above the other. I sketched the elaborate tattoo design on the chest of an old Konyak head-hunter of Tamlu.
The Konyak dandies wear belts of a peculiar, tough, white bark, pulled very tight, so that their waists are ludicrously small with a bulge above + below the belt, reminding one of some New Guinea tightly squeezed waists.
Sun. Nov. 12th Mills went on early to the Dikhu R., to fish, + I stayed behind in Tamlu to sketch + to visit Wong in his house, which is an unusually long one. Wong, who is rather a bad character + some trouble to the administration, was not very keen on my seeing his house, for reasons of his own; but the visit passed off fairly well. I started off for the Dikhu R. at 11 a.m., passing close to the ‘Tree of the Dead’, in the forked branches of which men’s bodies are placed in carved coffins. I got into the carrying chair + was carried downhill through splendid jungle scenery along a Naga path. The six Konyaks carrying me were not as good as the Ao carriers, + their chanting was mostly unmusical grunts. They were all stark naked, the nearest approach to ‘garb’ being a piece of thin string round the waist of two of them + a piece of orange-peel worn by another in his ear-lobe. The chair broke down about half-way + had to be repaired with cane + bark. I reached the Dikhu R. (5 miles) at 12.30. Camp had been pitched + small palm-leaf huts erected for the cook-house + men’s quarters. There was also a small palm-leaf shelter for Mills + me to sit under. The camp was situated at the end of a suspension bridge of government wire and cane, which was under repair, having recently collapsed with the loss of one man’s life. Wong had come along with me from Tamlu. He is an amusing character (mostly bad) + has a pigtail of hair, which must be more than six feet long when unwound. The bridge having broken down, the river could only be crossed by fording or by a ramshackle bamboo raft which had been improvised.
I had a stroll along the left bank upstream to meet Mills, who was fishing down. In the sandy tracts I saw spoor of otters; I also saw some White Wagtails, black + white Fork-tails, red-tailed birds (like Redstarts) some larger with white caps, others smaller with blue-grey head + back. I met Mills about a mile above the camp, + we came back for tiffin. In the afternoon Mills went shooting. I tried the bamboo raft, but could not pole it above the rapids which were too shallow. So I walked a good way along the left back upstream again, and came across the spoor of a tiger in the sand, but after following it for some distance I lost it on hard ground. There were foot-prints also of Sambhar, Barking-deer, otters etc., and I saw dozens of red Macaques (? M. assamensis) on the opposite bank + watched them for some time. Two had a fight + fell into the river, but they are good swimmers. The river is lovely at this point, with dense jungle on either bank. It was dark when I got back to camp. Very nice peaceful night in camp. We dined off goat chops, not bad.
Mon. Nov. 13th Fine morning. I sketched the tattoo-marks of a Konyak from Wakching. Then I went for a walk by myself downstream along the left bank of the Dikhu for 1/2 mile + then turned off into the jungle following a faint, narrow track until I reached a small tributary stream. I followed this upstream along the dry exposed patches of river bed + largely by wading. It was very beautiful; jungle on all sides, through which the stream formed a ‘lane’. In many of the sandy + muddy tracts I saw quantities of elephant spoor, both old + quite recent. I followed these cautiously for some distance. At various points the elephants had come down one back, crossed the stream + clambered out on the other bank, with much skidding in the slippery mud. The jungle-scrub was smashed down into great ‘tunnels’. Most of the tracks were of single elephants. There was one
[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Spoor of Otter.”---]
notorious solitary bull-elephant in the neighbourhood, which had been proscribed on account of the damage he had done to camps etc. He had only one tusk + was well known as a dangerous beast. Perhaps it is as well that I did not come up with him, as I had no rifle. Tracks of Sambhar + Barking deer abounded + I saw the pug-marks of a large leopard, or, perhaps, a small tiger. Both of these are numerous in the Dikhu valley. I could find no wild mithan (Gayal) tracks. Some Huluk Gibbons were very noisy in trees nearby. Squirrels, of medium-size + very small were playing around. I went a couple of miles up this stream + then turned back for fear of losing my way in the jungle. Got back to camp for lunch. The [sic] was a great hullabaloo in camp, due to a Red Hunting Wild Dog having been seen on the opposite bank. Most of the Nagas went after it unsuccessfully. I caught a glimpse of it, but hadn’t time to get the glasses on it. Though not uncommon, these Hunting-dogs are rarely seen here. In the afternoon I sat + wrote up my notes on the banks of the Dikhu above the camp.
Tues. Nov. 14th We struck camp early + loads were transfered to coolies from Wakching. It took some time to get everything started off. Most of the coolies forded the river below the camp, a few joppas being ferried over on the raft, on which we crossed ourselves. After climbing up to the bridle-path I got into the chair + was carried the rest of the way by Wakching Konyaks. They were absolutely stark naked but carried slight embellishments which I totted up as follows – (1) Large yellow flower in one ear-lobe + strip of cane round waist; (2) Serow-horn in one ear + in the other a tuft of purple flower (wild cuck’s comb) + a wooden peg, cane strip belt; (3) bunch of leaves in one ear, bunch of orange flowers in the other together with bamboo shavings, goitre on throat; (4) curved wooden peg in each ear + cane strip belt;
(5) orange-flower ‘buttonhole’ in each ear-lobe; (6) strip of orange-peel in one ear-lobe. That was the entire outfit. The way was most beautiful, through virgin jungle with tall timber trees, long llianas, calamus, canes + creepers climbing luxuriantly over everything; palms in variety + ferns abundant. The plantains were very tall + their leaves not frayed out, giving a beautiful colouring. Lovely ravines with beautiful waterfalls at their heads, though the water was low at this time of year. Nothing could be scenically finer. A large eagle flew overhead; Huluks were calling loudly + a Macaque was seen. On the way up from the Dikhu R. we passed a small mock ‘burial’. The body of the man who lost his life when the bridge collapsed not having been recovered, was buried ‘by proxy’; his cloth having been obtained from his village, was wrapped in a bundle + suspended from a simple [sketch] trestle at the side of the path. His personal cloth represented the man + was thus ‘buried’ in his stead. When we approached Wakching we passed a sick man’s offering place. A puppy had been offered to the spirits of disease as a substitute for the sick man, + its head was pegged to the ground, packets of meat wrapped in leaves being placed alongside, together with baskets + other offerings. We stopped outside Wakching, where some of the head-men had come to meet us. From them I got a small wooden head, which was worn round the neck by one of them, and represented a head taken in a raid. Others were wearing the cast brass heads (obtained from the Plains) as pendants with the same significance. I also collected a pipe of Konyak type carved with human figures in relief. Several of the Konyaks were carrying crossbows (with bamboo bows + stocks of the Chang pattern). We induced them to give an exhibition of their skill as archers, but the marksmanship was distinctly poor. Some of the wooden arrows were barbed. All the men were chewing pân. At the village we went to the Ang’s house. The Ang clan
is very aristocratic and conservative + also very aloof + much respected. The house was nearly pitch-dark inside + it was difficult to find the way in, as the living-room is approached by a side passage. The Ang’s bed is a massive affair, carved from a single tree-trunk, legs + all; a flat, table-like form with thick, fluted legs + with a carved raised rim along one side + the two ends. At each end is carved a row of hornbill’s heads, 12 in number, in complete relief, a fine piece of work. I bought the Ang’s stool for 3 rupees. It is of similar form + design to the bed, but without the raised rim. It may only be used by on [sic] of the Ang clan. Outside this house stands the village head-tree, on which captured heads were displayed for a time. We did not stay long in the village, but went through it to the bungalow, a mile beyond, as it was tea time + we had only lunched meagrely. At the bungalow I sketched some Konyak mens’ tattoo designs.
Wed. Nov. 15th. Mills + I went in the morning to Shiong, a Konyak village of about 40 houses, two miles from Wakching, along a Naga path. The path was exceedingly steep in parts. I was carried in the chair. Down a small valley + over a low ridge brought us to the village, which had probably never before been visited by a non-official white man. It is thoroughly untouched by outside influence + very typically Konyak of the less well-to-do type. We found the village very busy building a house for a couple who were about to marry. When we arrived they had only erected a few of the vertical posts, but although it was a good-sized house, it was approaching completion when we left at 3.40 pm. The younger men were building the framework, mainly of bamboo, + the old men were preparing the palm-leaf thatching by stitching leaves of Hyphaene palm in rows onto bamboo rods about 5 ft. long. Each of these formed a thatch-unit. Young men were splitting long bamboos into four strips each, very ingeniously + expeditiously, by splitting the ends of
of a bamboo into four + then drawing it lengthwise across two bamboos fixed so as to form a cross. The bamboo lengths were thus very rapidly split throughout their length into 4 rods. The house framework was entirely tied together. We watched women making pottery + I obtained a set of the appliances used (viz. smooth stone, 2 mallets + a pounding-stick, which is also used as a ‘resistance’ on the inside in the early stages of shaping the clay). I sketched two xylophones (at the two morungs). Watched bark-fibre being spun for making bark-fibre cloth; the toes were much used for grasping the spindle end, so as to release both hands. Peculiar false pigtails are worn by women + girls; either the hair is wrapped in leaves + tied round with extra hair added so as to make a long, narrow queue; or else a tapering wooden cylinder is attached to the growing hair + with extra hair attached to the end, the whole being wrapped round with leaves, giving the semblance of long + luxuriant hair-growth. I purchased one of these false queues which I had seen made. Many girls were having their hair done up in this way outside the houses. The men are practically nude when working, the women very nearly so. The latter wear a 5 inch deep ‘skirt’ round the waist, which just covers the lower part of the buttocks + is kept in place in front by the upper edge passing under a string tied tightly round the waist. I obtained a tattooing set + also some spring bird-traps + a fish trap. A stone celt was brought to Mills who gave it to me. The great shyness + nervousness of the women wore off as we stayed on, + they went about their occupations unconcerned, though some would still bolt if we approached. The houses are rather low + have the tops of the main supporting pillars projecting through the roof-ridge, looking like chimney-pots. Under the verandah of the Ang’s house hung two skulls (heads taken from Chingwe village), trophies of a raid, together with articles looted at the same time. Other heads from this read went to Wakching.
Thurs. Nov. 16th There was a very fine view from the Wakching bungalow. To the S-E. and S. the Patkoi Range extends + a wide stretch of Konyak country, as yet unvisited + unknown, + towards the Southern range of vision the Konyak + Chang territories merge. From the ridge between the bungalow + the village there is a superb view over the Assam plains, a great extent of which is opened up to the N-W. + West. Sunrise + sunset effects very beautiful. In the morning clouds collect in the valleys rising later + often causing dense fog on the ridges in the afternoon. We went to the village in the morning + watched for a long time Wangpo, a brass-caster, at work with his very primitive outfit, in the small shed forming his workshop. He built up his moulds very cleverly by eye + cast some brass bracelets in our presence; he also cast a half-round brass bar in a long, narrow mould made simply from a green bamboo split longitudinally. He made a bracelet from a small brass bar + engraved it with chisel + hammer, holding the bar between his toes. I bought some of his outfit + unfinished armlets + also the ‘bismar’ with which he weighed out his metal, for 7 rupees. Mills went back to the bungalow to work, + I went to see a blacksmith at work making dao blades. The smith was stark naked + black from head to foot with soot and dirt. He made a dao blade from an old Assamese trade hoe-blade. It took him a good hour to make the blade, + when it had been hafted, I bought it for two rupees. He used metal tools + anvil but his methods were very primitive, though effective. Old hoe-blades are largely imported to supply the Nagas with iron for dao-making etc., and many dao blades are made in Wakching for trading elsewhere in the hills. After this I visited the five morungs in the village (which has more than 400 houses). I photographed some very shy groups without their knowing it, by having a large dummy lens on the side of my camera + pretending to use that, the real lens being trained upon the group. The village is very difficult to find one’s way about in, as the
paths between the houses are very tortuous, unorganized + without orientation. The houses mostly have apsoidal fronts on the ground level, forming large lobbies. The main rooms are to one side, access to them being from a side passage; they are very dark. The back room leads onto an open platform on piles. Some houses have posts simply carved with mithan heads + other designs + occasionally there is a house surrounded with low carved + painted pillars, mostly red. The dhan (rice) stores at one end of the village are large + built on piles, and have double [sketch] solid pin-hinged wooden doors, many of which are carved with buffalo-heads. They have a peculiar fastening gear – two long, tapering wooden pins beings driven from opposite directions through a pair of wooden blocks fixed to the doors. At each end of the village there are numbers of small low sheds for storing fire-wood, stacks of which were piled outside them, ready for storing away. The men were mostly quite naked when at work + the women only had the exiguous 5 inch skirts. Tattooing is very elaborate in both sexes, the men’s faces and chests having often intricate designs. The women are tattooed on the abdomen, arms + on the legs below the knee, the designs being frequently elaborate + well executed. The men wear their hair long at the back + gathered up into a chignon through which wooden or other ornaments are passed. I saw a Konyak from Hangphui village wearing in each ear-lobe a very large, long piece of pith [sketch] with a decoration of burnt circles, a new type of ear-ornament to me. By 5 p.m. I was pretty well played out, after a long, hot day’s work, and I had not shaken off the effect of my malaria attack. So I returned to the bungalow.
Fri. Nov. 17 We left Wakching at 8.15 am. for Kongan (10 miles). I travelled most of the way in the chair. Palm Swifts (a small, specialized swift which builds its nest under the leaves of Hyphaene palms) were flying around. An Imperial Pigeon was seen, + a flock of Rose-breasted Parakeets. At first the way was downhill through jungle, but all the upward slopes on the Kongan side of the valley were quite open + almost treeless, owing to extensive jhuming. At Kongan I took possession of the small bungalow + Mills had his tent pitched. After lunch I went up to the village, a long, steep climb, + Mills joined me later. The village (a Konyak one) is fairly large + scattered, on very irregular ground, parts of which are heavily strewn with huge sandstone boulders, which are often built into the houses + morungs. There are four morungs, one of which is double. Their general design is very similar, but the great irregularity of the ground surface imposes modifications in structural design. The double morung [Khangkhai Pangnyú, or ‘parent morung of Khangkhai’, and Khangkhai Panghá, or ‘offspring morung of Khangkhai] is practically a single one with two separate buildings. These are connected by a raised bamboo bridge, which extends from one front to the other. The xylophones are under separate sheds, except at Yungsha morung, where it lies under the verandah. The xylophones are all practically of the same type, though the conventional designs carved on the two ends vary in detail. Near the Khangkhai morungs in the burial place, where a long row of small machans is situated, on each of which is a body in a trough-shaped wooden coffin, usually carved at one end with two Hornbill heads in complete relief. The bodies are covered with palm-leaves + a raised shield covers the hither end. Cloths, baskets etc, the personal property of the deceased, hang from the machans. After the platforms have decayed + collapsed, the skulls are placed in small stone cists covered with a flat stone;
or else in large pots, and are deposited in a special ‘skullery’ or ‘Golgotha’ in another part of the village, near the Chingha morung. Eventually the cists break up + the skulls rot away. No one may touch them. Quantities of these stone cists + urns lie around in disorder + the skulls which have fallen out. Some of the skulls were decorated with painted designs + one still bored an ornamental fillet. I wanted to sketch + photograph one of the decorated skulls, but no one would remove it from its cist + I was not allowed to touch it. After a prolonged discussion + after I had said that I would take all the risk of spiritual vengeance, I was told that I might remove the skull so long as I did not touch it with my hands. So I got two sticks + with them I lifted the skull from the cist + placed it on a log, + after sketching it, I returned it to the cist the same way, without being struck dead or otherwise punished by the spirits of the dead!
Throughout the village stand bamboo poles on which hang personal belongings of + offerings to the dead. The houses vary with the ground levels, the floors of the compartments being raised or lowered to fit the natural contours. The platforms at the back are raised on bamboo piles sometimes 18 or 20 feet high, to adapt them to the sloping ground. The verandahs are closed in and apsoidal. Two small houses of different type to the rest, were said to be used for promiscuous intercourse. Over one house a newly-hatched chicken was hung, as a substitute for a sick person, for the spirits to transfer the sickness to. It got very dark + as the way to the bungalow was of a break-neck description, I returned there before it became too dark to see at all. I had collected a number of bull roarer-like wooden pendants which hang in clusters from the morung gables, to rattle in the wind + keep away evil spirits. They look like bullroarers, but these
Konyaks of Kongan, while knowing of the bullroarer, say that it is genna to use it. Bullroarers + made + used by the Konyaks of Tamlu, which village can be seen from Kongan. It seems likely that these morung pendants are derivatives from the bullroarer, whose function has been changed. They are called ma in Kongan; the Tamlu bullroarers are called kampi. The possible connection of the two needs investigation. I also bought, for 2 rupees, one of the buffalo-horn trumpets used in the morungs.
Sat. Nov. 18th We left Kongan for Borjan (c. 4 miles). I was carried in the chair. On the way down we visited + Mills inspected a small fort of the Assam Police force, from which there was a fine view over the Dikhu valley, Borjan + the Plains. We went on to the colliery at Borjan, passing through the works, where an extensive seam of good coal is being mined, amidst a desolate area of what once was jungle, and on to the bungalow of Mr. Thomson (the Scotch manager of the mine), where he + Mrs. Thomson received us. The bungalow is large + very nice with fine rooms + a very spacious verandah high above the ground. Mills + I were given each a fine, large bedroom. We lunched on the verandah, various dogs joining in and also a small [male] Huluk, which was very amusing, running about [sketch] erect on its hind legs at a great pace. Later, while we were having tea it climbed onto my shoulder + took cake from me, but this was mere prospecting, as it were, for, when my attention was diverted by the arrival on the scene of 5 terrier puppies, the Huluk leapt onto my shoulder, seized my entire slab of cake + was off like a flash in triumph. When drinking milk + tea it partly lapped + partly scooped the liquid into its mouth with its right hand, usually scratching vigorously at the same time with the left.
A dense flight of winged white-ants passed over + it as amusing to see the Mynahs + the chickens snapping them up. I slept in a bed with sheets + had an excellent night.
Sun. Nov. 19th I was up before 6 am. + we breakfasted early before starting off for the Plains. I was carried in a dhoolie, kindly provided by Mr. Thomson, + Mills + Thomson walked to rail-head of a small branch line which runs to the colliery. We were to have gone on to Sibsâgar Road by trolly, but a special train had been arranged for us, + we travelled the few miles in that, with some of our staff. The coolies had taken on the loads overnight. The train took us to Sibsâgar Road station. The sudden change from the Hills to the Plains was very marked + caused a curious feeling. Thomson returned to Borjan by the local train, + Mills + I waited for a long time for a tram to take us to Furkating. When it arrived, at about midday, our loads were put on board; Mills + I had a large compartment to ourselves, + the dobashis + others occupied 3rd class coaches. We lunched on sandwiches + bananas + had tea at Mariami. We passed many tea-plantations and extensive padi-fields + small patches of jungle. I saw many kites, drongos, padi-birds, cattle egrets, cormorants (large + small), whinchats, vultures + rollers. Arrived at Furkating at about 4 p.m. We disembarked + the coolies (Nagas from Angami villages) took the loads on at once. Ponies met us, but Mills + I elected to walk the 3 1/2 miles to the bungalow at Gorunga. It was dark when we arrived. Choruses of jackals struck up after sundown. Kites, Brahminy Kites + Flying Foxes were flying around. We had splendid views of the Naga Hills ranges all day, extending from the north Konyak country to the Angami hills, with the Phom + Sema highlands in the distance. Jackals howled round the bungalow all night.
Mon. Nov. 20th We rode from Gorunga to Bhandâri (c. 16 miles), starting at 8 am. Nice + cool at starting. A vulture sat on a tree by the bungalow, + grey-necked crows, sparrows, mynahs, white wagtails, etc. were busy around. For about 11 miles we passed chiefly through jungle, though the Woka tea-plantation occupied a large area, + a few clearings for padi-fields were crossed. The jungle at first was low but timber became taller as we approached the hills. We passed ‘sign’ of wild elephants + also a spot where a wild boar had been wounded the day before, but had got away into the jungle. Quantities of Green Pigeons were seen + two were shot; also Spotted Doves, a large Grey Shrike + some small Hornbills (Malayan Pied Hornbills). The bridges over the streams were of bamboo matwork on poles, + very rotten. We usually had to dismount + lead the ponies over, or else ford the streams. Wild turmeric was growing by the side of the track. Elephants + wild mithan frequent this jungle, which is a forestry reserve + covers a wide area of the plains + foothills. The way was almost dead level as far as Merapani, where we stopped (c. 11 miles) at 11.45 am. at the Forestry Department bungalow, + lunched off bully-beef. I sketched an Assamese wooden plough there. Almost at once after restarting, we began mounting rapidly, as the hills rise very abruptly from the Plains. We rode up through jungle for about 5 miles to Bhandâri ( a Lota village). The gaonbura of Bhandari had met us at Merapani, got-up in all his finery – with bear-skin chaplet, stuck with tail feathers of hornbills (not artificially shaped, like the Ao ones), fringe-baldrick of red-dyed goat’s hair, wide, cowrie-studded apron, fringed panji-basket, many ornaments + spear with fringed shaft. We reached the Inspection bungalow at 2.45 pm. A cow was presented to Mills + was killed by Chonsimo, who cut off its head with one blow of his dao, rather a feat. We went into the village (of about 60 houses). The houses are widely-spaced + form a broad ‘street’. The fronts are apsoidal with enclosed verandahs,
in which stand the dhan-pounding boards. A passage leads past two or three small rooms – one for each wife – to a small main room which is floored with bamboo textile-work covered with a layer of mud + very springy. In this lies the hearth with the usual three upright stones for the cooking-pot. Beyond this room is an open-air platform on piles. The roofs are saddle-backed along the ridge (the reverse of the ‘hog-backed Konyak houses); thatched with reeds + with small projecting end-gables. Some of the roof-ridges are decorated with “enemies’ hands” of split bamboo. There is only one very small + simple morung (a new one) shaped like the houses, but with a post roughly carved with mithan heads in relief + “enemies’ teeth’ carved at the top. This post projects above the front gable-roof up to the small projecting gable. At its base lie several large round pebbles, the ‘luck stones’ of the village. We watched a woman weaving cloth in tartan-like designs on the usual Indonesian type of loom. Graves are dotted about the village, new ones with a fence of bamboos with their tops split into funnel-like receptacles for gourds + other objects. These erections are dismantled after the harvest gennas, at the Tukuemung (the ‘nine days sabbath’, v. Mills ‘Lotas’, pp.129, 130, 159). In one house there was a boy-child’s grave; the burial was under the floor + a miniature dao and dao-holder were placed upon it, + some notched bamboo sticks were set with orange-coloured flowers. Several monoliths (‘pulled stones’) stand erect about the village, some of them fallen + left so. In the gaonbura’s house we sat on the back platform + were shown two iron daos of obsolete type, which were greatly treasured by the village. We went to the house of the village ‘priest’ (a very solemn individual) + where there shown the process of casting white-metal bars in cylindrical moulds of green bamboo. It is really genna (forbidden) to see this done, but this difficulty was overcome
by my agreeing to buy the cast bar with all faults + to take the risk of failure. I bought the bar for 4 rupees (3 rupees being for the metal used, 1/2 seer). I also bought a X-handled weeding-hoe for 4 annas.
Tues. Nov. 21st We started at 8.15 am + rode from Bhandari to Sanis (c. 15 miles). Just outside Bhandari village we examined the great Head-tree, on which head captured in raids were hung as trophies. It is a Ficus and very old. The location of a new village depends upon there being a suitable tree, and if a village is moved to a new site, a branch from the old head-tree is taken along + placed at the foot of the new head-tree. At the foot of the tree are the ‘luck stones’ of the village, half-buried among the roots. Nowadays on occasions imitation heads are hung on the tree, or from bamboos attached to it. We passed through jungle all the way, on a track which was quite good in places but difficult in others. First, downhill for some miles, then along a level valley bottom where we saw tracks of wild elephants; then up a long + very steep hill side. Eight Wreathed Hornbills (with pure white tails) flew by making a very fine sight. We collected samples of poison-plants, used for poisoning waters for fish-taking. One of these is now only employed in the mimetic fishing ceremony described by Mills in his “Lhota” book. We reached Sanis (Lhota village) at about 1 pm. + rode straight through the village to the bungalow, quite a good one with splendid all-round view. Wokha Mountain is fairly close, Japro is in the background to the south; the Mikir Hills are very clear + the Plains with the Himalayas in the distance. We visited the village after lunch. A leopard had entered the village while we were lunching, + had mauled three pigs, but did not manage to carry one off. Sanis village spreads over a large area + is very open, with wide ‘streets’ + open spaces. The houses have saddle-backed roofs with long projecting
small gable-extension. The walls are of bamboo textile work. The richer houses have an apsoidal, enclosed lobby-front, or dhan-pounding room. Behind this a high step leads to the main room which is divided into 2 or 3 small compartments with a passage running along one side. Each wife has her own room. At the back, the main room extends from side to side of the building. The flooring is of bamboo matting covered with mud. At the back of the main room is a small store-room which leads onto an open platform (without any rail) high above the sloping ground. Only the lobby is on ground level, the rest on piles increasing in height backwards. The poorer houses are straight-fronted. We had to go into several houses to drink madhu, 6 or 7 at least. A great ‘head-tree’ stands between two sections of the village. On all sides there stand or lie genna stones (large sandstone slabs) recording sacrifices performed, and graves, with or without trophies, are dotted about promiscuously. Tiny huts raised on piles + with notched-log ladders, for the goats to go into, are numerous [I had seen similar goat-huts built onto the sides of houses in the Konyak country]. Small separate dhan stores are built on low piles. I sketched two ancient (+ now ceremonial) daos in one house, + found a bullet-bow in another, and noted some fans with cane loop-handles, used for creating [sketch] a draught when winnowing. Wooden ‘bismars’ were in every house. Cotton-cleaning + flecking with a small bow, spinning + weaving were in progress on all sides. There are plenty of orange trees giving excellent fruit + also flowers for wearing in the ear-lobes.
Wed. Nov. 22nd It was cold in the early morning with a keen wind, but turned quite hot later. A solid sea of cotton-wool clouds filled the valleys, till the sun gained strength + lifted the mist.
We walked through Sanis + I took some photos. Outside the village, by the track-side (the way by which the spirits of dead people go to Wokha Mountain) are several small shrines upon which are placed the last offerings to the dead. Little bamboo stands with oranges + other foods upon them, + miniature spears, daos etc, which have been placed there for each dead man; with simpler offerings for female dead. I photo’d one of the shrines, which stand in a long row along the path. Close by is a wide track, a clearing through the jungle-scrub, which is the route along which great stones are dragged from the river-valley below, for erecting in the village. Before long we reached the village of Yansütso + spent a short time in it. Two large sandstone slabs had been erected two days before to commemorate sacrifices performed. Attached to them were a green bamboo water-tube (with scraped wriggly designs upon it), some ceremonial madhu cups of banana leaf with long, notched handles, and some branches of trees. These specially made madhu cup [sic] of leaf are used during the ceremonies attending the mithan sacrifice.
I collected a split-bamboo thatching-comb (used for straightening out the reeds when being laid as thatch), a weeding-hoe with X-shaped handle + the ends braced together (4 annas), 2 cupping-horns from a morung (2 annas) + two of the ceremonial banana-leaf cups. From Yansütso I was carried in the chair along a very steep + rough Naga path. It was often impossible to get the chair along in the narrower parts + I was tilted at all angles + had a most thrilling and uncomfortable ride. So I walked part of the way down to the Chebi River. We waded a few hundred yards up this river to see a fish-weir erected across the river. It consisted of bamboo fences leading to transverse barricades with small outlets in which conical fish-traps were fixed. At the end of each ‘run’ there was also a bamboo ledge onto which the larger fish often jump in endeavouring to escape from the enclosure.
Then we waded back + further down the Chebi R. + took to a small path
through thick jungle to reach the Doyang R. We found some wild tea growing here. We went up the Doyang, partly scrambling along the bank, which was very hard going, + partly wading. We had to ford the river 7 or 8 times, often waist-deep + as the river was running strongly in the shallows, it was very difficult to keep one’s balance + escape a ducking. We saw some Spur-winged Plovers, very handsome birds. At last we reached our camp-site +, as the coolies had arrived with the loads, tents were pitched + the camp set going on a very picturesque spot on the river bank. We had come about 10 miles from Sanis. After lunch I had a walk up-stream along the left bank, partly over the boulder-strewn bed of the river, now dry, and partly wading. There was much spoor of Sambhar + Muntjaks in the mud and sand-patches. I also came across fresh spoor of tiger and leopard about 1 1/2 miles from the camp. Spur-winged Plovers, Cormorants, drongos, a green Barbet, a Redstart with grey head + body + white ring round the eye, a flock of green parakeets, a very small owl, small sandpipers, pied wagtails, a large dull-coloured Kingfisher etc. were seen, and a Jungle-cock flew across the river near me. I found Mills fishing; he had caught 2 Mahseer of 2 and 2 1/2 lbs, and we returned to camp together. Quite near the camp we had a very good view of a Barking Deer, which had come down to the river. After a time it became suspicious + ‘barked’ loudly + then swam over to the other bank. The [sic] was a very heavy dew at night + everything became wringing wet. It was very chilly.
Thurs. Nov. 23rd Up at 6.30 am. Fine morning, less misty than usual in the valley. At 9 I went off for a walk by myself, as Mills had gone fishing, taking sandwiches + bananas with me.
I went up the riverbed, wading when necessary + fording the river two or three times. Stream very strong + fording was difficult with the water half way up my thighs, I had difficulty to avoid being swept away. I passed Tsansemo (a Lota) carrying a live Muntjak fawn + some other Lotas bringing in a dead Macaque. I saw a large grey-backed Kingfisher (with white cheeks + throat), Spur-winged Plovers, Padi Egrets (with dark buff stripes down the neck), Pied + white wagtails, many Kestrels, a Goshawk, drongos, sandpipers, a Hobby, Yellow Wagtail (grey head + back, white throat + sides, deep yellow breast) and a small Kingfisher (bright blue back + rump, chestnut breast and ? dark green wings) which was catching small fish in the pools. There were quantities of other spoor, some fresh spoor of a tiger (last night’s), fresh spoor of a sambhar + Barking Deer, and footprints of macaques.
After reaching a big bend in the river, where fording was dangerous I turned back a little, passed an old fishing-weir + crossed to the N’drung bank to get some shade for lunch. Then I climbed up the bank of old boulder-filled alluvium + wandered about over the jhum fields. Nearly every small dhan-house in the jhums contained a fire-making stick. I saw very few natives, +, of course, could not converse with those I did meet. I returned across the jhums + struck the river exactly at our camp at 4.15 pm. I found the Barking Deer fawn tied up in camp. When it was getting dark I strolled up the river again + sat for a while to see if any game or other beasts would come out, but nothing turned up + I returned to camp when it was quite dark.
Fri. Nov. 24th Clear morning, free from mist. I was up at 6.30 am. A small pack of Red Wild Dogs passed quite close in front of the camp + within a few yards of my tent, evidently hot on a trail. I had a splendid view of them. They swam
across the river to the right bank, raced along that side + disappeared. Later I saw an otter, about the size of L. vulgaris, probably the Clawless Otter. I stayed in camp most of the morning, but spent an hour in the jhum fields photographing etc. Saw some quails. I got letters from home + prints of some of my negatives which had been developed in Calcutta. They were disappointing as the view-finder must have been out of adjustment. I went up the river bed in the afternoon. A pair of Black-backed Kalij Pheasants flew across near me; padi egrets + spur-winged plovers, + numbers of small swallows or martins were seen; also a white-capped Redstart (white crown, black cheeks, neck, shoulders + wings; back, tail and underparts bright, warm red; tail also red with black tips. It flirted its tail up + down vigorously). On my way back I watched cantering along the opposite bank for about 1/4 mile a pair of Himalayan Martins. They were large + very badger-like in appearance, but had long, thick tails. (Head yellowish-white with black streak along the cheek, throat yellow, back + sides greyish yellow, hind quarters, tail + feet dark brown) They were evidently following a hot scent + travelled at a good pace. Several monkeys were in the trees on the far side. Mills caught 2 or 3 Mahseer during the day + we had some for dinner.
Sat. Nov. 25th We broke camp early, but did not start away till 8.45 am, as Mills went fishing + caught a 12 lb Mahseer, a very good fish for the Doyang R. We started over the jhums to a ford about a mile above the camp-site. This ford was easy as the water was not much above our knees. Climbing up in the dhooly was difficult, extremely steep, up a very rough Naga path. I had to get out + walk frequently in the steeper + narrower parts. Much of the way was through a sort of tunnel formed by the tall sword-grass which
completely overhung the track. We were met outside the village of Pangti (c. 7 miles from the camp) by several head-men + had to drink madhu with them. Near the entrance to the village we passed a number of neat little shrines with last offerings to the dead. We went straight through Pangti, only stopping at a couple of houses to drink madhu formally. Outside the village we came to the village ‘head-tree’, with the village luck stones at its base among the roots. In a recess at the base of this tree were three broken skulls, trophies from a raid on Chinlong village, c.1913-14. These were covered by a flat stone which concealed them + was only removed with reluctance for us to see the skulls, which no one may handle. This is a Liyé Lhota village + a good sized one. We came on to the bungalow, a small one of wattle + daub, erected for Mills’ own use. After lunch we walked to Okotso village to see part of the second day’s ceremonies concerned with the rebuilding of a morung. The dancers, all men + boys elaborately got up many wearing hornbill feathers on the head, some (who had ‘dragged a stone’) wore a hornbill’s (Dichoceros) head hanging down the back of the shoulders; others (noted warriors) wore the “enemies’ teeth’ ornament, rüho, behind the shoulders. Most of them wore fringed panji-baskets, a few with projecting fringed ‘tails’. Fringed baldricks were also worn + some wore red + yellow plaited ‘gaiters’. The small boys wore cloths corresponding with their fathers’ achievements. The wide, rectangular, cowrie-covered apron (or sporran) was worn by many. The dancers were led by the Puthi wearing a special kind of cane-work helmet covered with cloth of dogs’ hair dyed red + with long dogs’ hair strings hanging from it down the back. Pairs of boars’ tusks forming circles were appliqués on the cloth cover + thin ‘horns’ of mithan-horn stood out at the sides of the helmet.
The performers carried wooden imitations of the older type of dao, now superseded, and the Puthi and his attendant Yenga carried very old, obsolete daos entirely of iron. It was the second day of the ceremonies which last five days, + we arrived at the stage when a puppy (probably representing a former human sacrifice) was about to be killed. The dancers came in procession down the village towards where a small white puppy was tethered to a peg. An old man was tending the pup + covered it with his cloth, in symbolic protection. An argument ensued between the old man + the leading warrior of three, who circled round the puppy; and the old man stepped back. Suddenly the leading warrior cut the tethering-string + cut off the puppy’s head with a stroke of his dao. The head, wrapped in a piece of cloth, was taken to the new morung + was fixed to the humtse-tachungo, or central carved post, under the apsoidal verandah roof as an offering. The head is afterwards thrown away by the old man who attended the puppy. Dances continued, the dancers moving slowly round with a side-step – a pause, a side-step – a pause repeated ad nauseam to a monotonous chant consisting of deep, droned notes answered by higher-pitched drawled notes. I took a few photos + sketched one of the ancient daos + the morung post with the puppy’s head fixed to it. We were to have gone into Pangti to see the raising of a new stone, but, hearing that the stone had already been erected, did not go.
Sun. Nov. 26th We had late breakfast (8 am) for a change. I went off to Pangti (c. 1 1/2 miles) to sketch + photo. I visited four morungs (a fifth had been destroyed + was not yet rebuilt). They are all very small + on similar plan + the carvings (hornbills) vary little. I photod a woman + man laying the warp on a loom. The heddle-
string was looped round the alternate warp threads as these were laid. I also photod a woman spinning, a view of the village, morungs, genna stones + the base of the head-tree showing the skulls in the recess. I came in for a dance + ceremony connected with the erection of the genna stones yesterday. Some men danced slowly round a bamboo erection with offerings + ceremonial zu cups upon it, chanting with long-sustained bass note and answering drawled higher-pitched notes. Some bundles of short lengths of bamboo were then thrown on the ground + stamped upon to smash them (this to drive away bad spirits). Then the Puthi and Yenga, standing opposite two baskets through which rice-beer had been strained into wooden tubs, on which the baskets stood, made a long harangue, holding ceremonial leaf-cups in the left hand + spears in the right. They invoked the spirits to avert ill-luck + to take away sins, making horizontal forward stabs with their spears. At the end the leaf-cups were thrown down, the baskets were pushed over with the spears + the bamboo erection was rapidly dismantled. I drank zu in several houses + was presented with a lot of spring-traps, a couple of ‘bismars’, a lot of oranges and 2 eggs.
I hurried back to the bungalow for lunch + then Mills + I went to Okobso, where the morung celebrations were still going on (3rd day). I sketched some ancient iron daos, used only ceremonially. I got some Lhota hoes which were made in the village, + was given an Ao pipe of sheet iron. We visited Tsonsemo’s house + saw his young wife + baby, + also went into some other houses. Then Mills went back + I stayed on to sketch, etc. The dancing was much as yesterday’s. Soloists performed warriors’ dances independently, while the rest did their solemn side-stepping and chanting. They were dancing + chanting just outside the small Christian
church, inside which the ‘christianized’ Lhotas were singing hymns. The contrast and clashing of rituals seemed to disturb no one, but it was an odd mélange of motivs + a pretty discordant mix-up.
Mon. Nov. 27th Mills walked on early, to escape the sun, as he was feeling a bit feverish. I got started at 7.45 am, as soon as my loads had gone off, + was carried past Okotso to Nankam (an Ao village) c. 8 miles. It was a Naga path all the way, very rough, steep + difficult; I had a stormy + uncomfortable journey, though the scenery was fine. Just outside Nankam there are rhododendrons of huge size, regular forest trees with massive trunks. A few Vanda caerulea orchids were still in flower. A large Wreathed-hornbill with pure white tail flew over us, making a great noise with its wings. The Nankam bungalow is a good one, on a knoll just inside the village, close to a morung + a huge xylophone, which I sketched before lunch. The views all round from the bungalow are magnificent. Wokha Mountain stands prominently fairly close; Wakching Hill to the north, beyond Mokokchung; the Sema country to the East; the Lhota country to the West + South; and, beyond, the Plains + Himalayas. Japro can be seen to the south. In the afternoon I went about the village by myself, sketching xylophones etc., visiting four more morungs which are all more or less of a pattern + rather in disrepair. The thatched roofs come down very low at the sides, the roof-ridge rises high in front, + the verandah is enclosed, with angular front – after the style of rich mens’ houses (the poorer ones have flat fronts, but may have a widely overhanging apsoidal verandah roof). The morung floors are very uneven, being merely the ground-surface, + the division into compartments
is but slightly marked. There are no sleeping benches. The pillar and beam carvings are poorly executed, usually tigers on the pillars. The back is quite open. I photo’d some groups + houses etc. + went into several houses to drink zu + make friends with the Ao owners. The women were very shy + would not be photographed, but I managed to snap some unawares, with the help of my dummy lens. I saw a large house-pillar being ‘dragged’ (carried on a bamboo raft by a dozen men, all chanting, with an old man dancing in front). Women were spinning, weaving, cotton-cleaning, dhan-pounding + winnowing with ‘vannus’ like baskets. I photo’d a group of three men on a house platform, viz. Yabang (gaonbura) on the left; Tselur Tsungpha (gaonbura) in centre, and Wathi Wangtsi (dobashi) on the right.
Tues. Nov. 28th It had rained hard during the night + early morning + a very cold wind was blowing at 4 am. We started off for our last march to Mokokchung (12 miles), stopping a short while in Nankam village. After walking a bit Mills + I both took to the ponies + rode the rest of the way. I all but trod on a Russell’s Viper while walking; Mills killed it. It became quite fine after the rain, and the bridle-path is a good one. Just below Ungma (Ao village) we found three men by the trackside performing the ceremony of calling back a sick man’s soul or spirit (the kind that leaves the body during life occasionally). They were preparing offerings of food, which were placed on leaves. Then a fowl was taken + an old man, holding it up by the wings, made a long invocation to the spirits. The fowl’s head was then cut off with a dao, + its blood was smeared on a basket which was then hung on the upright sticks. Omens were taken from the way in which the dead fowl’s legs crossed
one another as they stiffened and also from the intestine which was drawn out of the body. Feathers were plucked from the bird + stuck into the basket (as equivalent to the bird itself, the body being handed over to the other men to singe + cook for the men to eat. Offerings of zu and leaf-cups were made. The pot in which the food offerings to the spirits were cooked, would later be broken and placed with the other offerings. Water was also poured from a new bamboo vessel. That completed the ceremonies + the men devoted their attention to consuming the fowl, which had been cooking for a few minutes only. The omens were apparently favourable. The sick man had been travelling for trading purposes + his ‘soul’ had been retained by the spirits + had to be recovered to make the invalid well.
We passed below Ungma without entering the village, and joined the New Sema Road, reaching Mokokchung at 12.30 pm.
Wed. Nov. 29th I packed specimens all the morning. I photo’d Yanpi Khopa, the Ao artist of Longsa, who executes the designs on white bands for decorating cloths. He had brought me one of the finished bands + also his bamboo pot of pigment + stilus with which the designs are drawn upon the white cloth.
Volume II: H. Balfour Diary Naga Hills 1922-23
Thurs. Nov. 30 During the morning I rode Mills’ pony, George, to Kensa village (Mongsem and Chongli Ao), about 3 miles away, taking Nikrihu and an Ao dobashi with me. Good bridge-path. Outside the entrance to the village at the Chongli khel end, are many ‘burials’ of the typical Ao kind. The bodies in miniature houses of plaited-work and thatch, fitted with bamboo carrying-poles, are placed on machans to which are attached cloths, imitation ornaments, daos and spears, etc. A new burial of a rich man had before it several wooden mithan heads, with [sketch]-designs in white painted on the frontals, in imitation of the treatment of the actual mithan heads hung up in houses, to record sacrifices of mithan. Carvings in miniature of hornbills, snakes etc. on the machan were reproduced from those on the house. I photographed this burial later on. The children’s burials had similar decorations, miniature daos + dao-holders for boys, + the erections varied with the status + wealth of the deceased. Many collapsed burial-platforms lie about neglected and skulls + bones lie exposed on the ground in profusion. A great chance for the craniologist, but for the rigid tabu which forbids the handling of skulls!
The entrance to the village is through a gateway with a large, pin-hinged door (6'5" high and 5' wide) with figure of a tiger in relief on the inside. It must have been cut from a huge tree. The village is a large one, chiefly of the Mongsem khel, but of the Chongli khel at the near end. It is well laid out in
‘streets’ of varying width + is cleaner + neater than most Naga villages. It runs along a ridge. The richer houses have outside pillars (sometimes under the verandah roof) carved with hornbills (usually paired, or in groups of five), snakes (paired or in groups), mithan-heads (conventionalized) and tigers. Horizontal beams over the door also carved or painted. Rich houses have deeply-overhanging verandah roofs, or verandahs enclosed by angular fronts. Inside there is the verandah, or lobby, with dhan mortars, etc., and a large room, floored with interlaced bamboos with a mud layer upon which the hearth is built. A door at the back leads either directly onto an open-air platform on piles, or into a small store-room which opens onto the platform. I went into three or four houses and sat with the natives, whom I amused with a collapsible camera-tripod, which greatly intrigued them. Many women were weaving or setting up their looms. I visited 5 morungs, which are rather poor + out of repair, + I sketched two dug-out xylophones (apparently the only two in the village). At about 3 pm I had my lunch of sandwiches + oranges on the back platform of a gaonbura’s house.
I got back to Mokokchung at 4.20 pm. Some men brought in to Mills a rather small, recently-killed leopard, to claim the reward. I bought a very fine ivory amulet for 85 rupees from an Ao Naga who wished to sell it to help him purchase a wife. I wrote to Dr. J. Riley Bailey, to thank him for his attendance upon me at Merangkong, + sent him a donation (60 rupees) to the Medical Mission.
Friday, Dec. 1st I spent most of the morning at Ngaku’s house. Ngaku is a Chang Naga of Yongiemdi village, and brother of Yanchu, the chief of Yongiemdi, and is a dobashi at Mokokchung. He was building a new house, as the present one’s roof had given way. I had a cheery time with him + found him very keen + ready to give me information about Naga life etc – a very intelligent native. I photographed him in full dress + also an old woman (mother of a friend of Ngaku’s), and she treated me to a performance on the jews harp (native type, of bamboo), quite a pleasing a melodious performance. She also gave me a pair of jews harps ‘for my memsahib’. Ngaku presented me with a hide shield from Kamahu, a spear from Yacham (Ao), a hoe (Chaokik or Aoshed), some of his own traps for birds and small game, and a Chang hat used mainly for dances. He also gave me the skull of a Himalayan Bear, shot by himself near Mokokchung. I was shown an unusual white wool cloth with Huluk’s hair woven into it (black, [male], forming the border, and brown, [female], woven in throughout. It had been made by his wife. Ngaku’s is a large house with open verandah + a very large main room with bamboo-work floor, the hearth-stones standing on a layer of mud. At the back is a very large sleeping-room and a store-room is situated between those two rooms.
I packed + wrote letters in the afternoon. Hazel came to diner at Mills’s bungalow.
Sat. Dec. 2 I spent my last morning at Mokokchung in packing up + settling accounts. After lunch I said goodbye to Mills with very great regret, as I had had a splendid time with him + had experienced every possible kindness from him. Four packing-cases of specimens were made ready for sending off by cargo boat from Calcutta. Mills’s pony was waiting for me. A long line of dobashis + other Nagas had formed up to say goodbye + they gave me a good send off. I felt very sorry to leave them all. [On the previous day an Ao had asked me whether I would like to consult the omens as to whether my journey to the Plains would be successful. I readily answered “yes”, as I wished to see his methods. He went through the process of frictional fire-making (with stick + cane thong) + when the thong broke, he measured the two parts against each other and finding that they were of unequal length, he declared that the omen was favourable + that I would get through without trouble. That was satisfactory. It occurred to me afterwards that I was perhaps unwise to resort to divination, since, if the omen has been inauspicious, the carriers would probably have refused to start + I might have been delayed, with awkward results.].
I started off at 2.30 p.m. + rode for 5 miles, past Kensa village, then walked for 3 1/2 miles + rode the last 1/2 mile to the small bungalow at Chuntia (Ao village) arriving at 5.20 pm. The Mongsam gaonbura + others had met me outside Kensa
bringing me zu, + saying that they regretted that I had not visited the Mongsem section of Kensa on Thursday. I was equally sorry, but time had been short, as was explained to them. Later I met the Chuntia gaonburas waiting for me with zu + with a present of two chickens. They accompanied me to Chuntia bungalow, and another gaonbura turned up with a third chicken. I regretted having no cheroots to give them, but had forgotten to ask Mills for a supply. My safari consisted of Nikrihu, a dobashi, a cook, a sais + his boy, 7 coolies carrying loads + 1 in reserve. Mills’s ‘bearer’ was to join me next day.
Sunday, Dec. 3 I was up pretty early, + after reading Mrs. McGovern’s book on Formosa, I spent nearly all day in Chuntia + Aliba villages, which adjoin one another. Both are Ao villages. I spent some time sketching the xylophones, which are fine, old + massive ones (one in Chuntia + one in Aliba). I visited the morungs, which are mostly large. The two villages are laid out in definite ‘streets’, on very rocky + uneven ground. The floors of the morungs are just the uneven ground surface, unlevelled. The houses are at ground level in front + on piles at the back, the back platforms being usually very high, owing to the falling away of the ground-level. I visited + drank zu in several houses belonging to gaonburas. They had one big living-room floored with interlaced bamboo-strips, with a layer of mud for the hearth. There is a lobby in front and a door leading to the
open air platform at the back. The house fronts are flat. Many of them have carved horizontal boards across the front over the door, carved with human heads, hornbills, snakes and breast designs. Some were painted with figures of daos etc. At one house there was a boy who had just gashed his ankle very badly with a dao. I had no surgical equipment with me, so I applied a tourniquet + told the parent to keep the wound washed with warm water, + that I would return later + do up the wound. I then visited a new morung in Aliba, which was having the finishing decorative touches applied – ‘enemies’ hands’, palm-plumes and birds along the roof ridge. After lunch I returned to the wounded boy, who was in great pain. I dressed his wound with Jeyes (my only remaining disinfectant) + bound him up. A difficulty always arises in one’s attempts to treat wounds. It is impossible to find any vessels which are even approximately clean, water which is pure or strips of cloth which are not filthy, + when one’s own outfit is exhausted, one has to make shift with local materials + trust to native immunity to septicism. The mother of the boy insisted upon paying me a medical fee – of two eggs, one of which hatched shortly afterwards! I gave the other half-fee to one of the carriers. Another Naga came to me, suffering from the worst cataract in both eyes which I have ever seen + begged me to treat him. Of course I could not, + could only recommend him to go down to a hospital in the Plains. But he could not understand why, if I could treat a gash, I could not or would not treat him.
I next went right through Aliba village. Chuntia + Aliba together must be nearly a mile long, + stretch along the top of a ridge, about 4000 ft above sea level. I had a crowd with me all the time, very inquisitive about my sketching + photographing + a decided nuisance. In the evening Mills’s ‘bearer’ – a very capable man – turned up, to accompany me to Calcutta.
Mon. Dec. 4 I started off 8 coolies with the loads, + at 8.45 am started myself on ‘George’, + alternately rode + walked up to Cholemsén (9 miles; 18 miles from Mokokchung), mostly through jungle. As the village is not very interesting, being much spoilt by Plains influence, I went for a walk to look at the scenery + for birds etc. During the day I saw a large, yellow-naped, green Woodpecker; a Woodpecker with pied black + white back, red cap + blue cheeks + throat; several bright green Barbets with red caps, behaving like Woodpeckers + investigating a nesting-hole; some birds of about thrush-size with scarlet + black body + longish scarlet tails; + others with black back + tail and yellow breast, sides + erectile crests; Racquet-tailed Drongos (Dissemurus paradiceus), common black Drongos, whose very graceful flight when catching insects I watched for some time; Bulbuls in great numbers. Five Malayan Wreathed Hornbills (Rhitidoceros _____ [left blank]) flew over me, their wings making a tremendous noise; I heard others flying near but not in view. Some large
Green Pigeons with long tails (Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Sphenocercus apicanda) were greedily eating the fruit of a tall tree. A vulture flew overhead – the Plains being fairly close – ; a Kestrel + some white-headed Laughing Thrushes (Garrulaxleucolophus). I also saw a large black squirrel and two enormous Earthworms (2 ft. 6 in. and over 3 feet long respectively), some kind of Megaskolex, no doubt.
I wandered over some jhum land + met one of the dobashis, who had been with us part of the time on tour. I asked him to take a letter to Mills, as he was going to Mokokchung next day. A Cholemsen gaonbura brought me a fowl as a present. Mokokchung is clearly visible from the bungalow, the fort + surrounding houses, + also, among the trees on the hill, the red roof of Mills’s bungalow. The views around are very fine; the ranges from Mokokchung to Monsemdi and Yongiemdi being very clear, and, in the background, the Phom and Chang country. Wokha Mountain showed up to the south, and to the N-W. the Plains looked very near. Full moon at night and Barking Deer (Muntjak) calling. Very charming.
Tues. Dec. 5 I was up before sunrise. Took a last look at the distant Mokokchung + the long ranges of hills, and got started at 8.15 for Lakhu (Lackholi), a 14 miles march. Going slowly, I walked + rode alternately. Fine jungle scenery nearly all the way, + a good deal of the track had easy gradients + was
sometimes nearly level, through there were some rough places. I rode on ahead of my men + arrived at Lakhu bungalow at 12.45 pm. The kitchen joppas not having arrived, I had a latish luncheon of sandwiches + oranges. I strolled about the neighbourhood, looking at the birds etc. I saw many minute, striped squirrels, which are marvelously quick + active, and some larger all-grey squirrels, white underneath + about the size of our Red Squirrel. A large, grey, rather thick-billed bird with very long + stiff tail may have been one of the Cuckoos (? Centropus). There were many birds, about the size of Redwings, grey all over, darker above, with white throat + erectile crest. A Wryneck (or, perhaps, a very small Woodpecker) was tapping the trees lustily. The birds were difficult to see clearly in the dense jungle-growth. Barking Deer were calling nearby.
Later I walked by myself to Lakhu village, about a mile away along the ridge. Outside the village were the usual Ao burial-machans, but most of them have flat roofs thatched with palm-leaves, instead of gable-roofs, and vertical box-like sides of palm-leaves. Offerings of food and belongings of the deceased were attached to a bamboo frame in front of the machan. Long bamboo panjis fence round the sides, with slender bamboo arches forming a fence in front together with some water-or madhu-tubes. There were several of these machan burials, + at the end of the line two Christian graves with names on the tombstones.
The village is uninteresting, having been affected by
contact with the Plains + by the ‘Christian’ element. It is typically Ao as far as the houses and their arrangement in ‘streets’ are concerned. I saw no morung or xylophone. Most of the men were away + the remaining population was unfriendly + very boorish + tiresome. I walked through the village to the far end + back again, but had repeatedly to threaten the mob to keep the people at a distance. It was quite dark when I got back to the bungalow.
Wed. Dec. 6 Breakfast at 7.30. After sending the coolies on ahead, I started at 8.15 on ‘George’. Most of the way was downhill, becoming more level as we approached the Plains. By midday the level became absolute + the foothills were left behind. Nearly all the track was through jungle + bamboo brakes. As the Plains were reached, the typical Plains avifauna replaced that of the Hills. Vultures, Kites, Padi-birds, White Egrets, mynahs + grey-necked crows became dominant. I reached the Dak Bungalow (a very bad one) at 12.45 pm, about 15 or 16 miles from Lakhu, and after tiffin I walked 1 1/2 miles to Nakachari Station, to find out when the train would be leaving (10.14 pm). I then returned to the Bungalow + paid off the carriers + provided rice for their return trek to Mokokchung. The coolies were paid at the rate of 4 annas each for each of the first two stages from Mokokchung; 6 annas from Cholemsen to Lakhu, and 6 annas from Lakhu to the Dak Bungalow;
(8 annas to those who carried loads as far as Nakachari Station). Near the Bungalow I saw a small woodpecker, somewhat like our Greater Spotted Woodpecker, with pied back and wings, black cap, pale-grey cheeks + with a few black marks on the sides of the throat; buff below with bright red rump. I dined at the Bungalow + waited there till it was time to go down to the station. I had a long wait for the train which was late. There was a waiting-room on the platform with a notice saying “For persons of European quality only.” I did not use it, but saw a very dark native who assumed the status of “European quality” on the strength of his wearing a straw hat and sock-suspenders (but without socks!) + who invaded the room without hesitation. I got a compartment to myself in the train. The loads were put into a 3rd class with the ‘bearer’ and Nikrihu, but at the last moment were transferred to another compartment nearer to mine, + only just got bundled in as the train started. Nikrihu was very nearly left behind through his characteristic slowness. For once he streaked along the platform like greased lightning + it was very amusing to watch him. He just managed to get on board after the train had gained pace + had a very bad scare. The train started at 10.40 pm. Exceedingly cold journey to Dimapur, as I was wearing shorts + my blankets were not accessible. I walked up + down the compartment trying to get warm, but without avail.
Thurs. Dec. 7 Arrived at Dimapur at about 2.30 a.m., + with much difficulty roused some coolies to carry the loads up to the Bungalow, 1/4 mile away. Having got there I turned in fairly tired as I had walked about 10 miles + ridden 11 miles during the day + had been up since before sunrise the previous morning. I got up again at 7.30 am., my luggage from Kohima having arrived by bullock-cart. I spent the morning in repacking, so as to release 4 of the joppas lent to me by Hutton. Hutton turned up at about 1 pm. having ridden from Kohima in stages. He and I went to see the old fort of Dimapur + examined the allignments of carved monoliths nearby. Some of these I photographed + sketched. We then went to the big ‘tank’ beyond the river. There were no duck on it, but fish were evidently plentiful. Returning to the Bungalow, I did not turn in, as my train was due to start in the small hours of the morning. I just lay down + dozed, several people having promised to call me in good time. I paid 4 rupees 8 annas for board + lodging at the Bungalow.
Fri. Dec. 8 Luckily I woke up at 2.15 a.m. + heard the train whistling as it approached the station. I leapt up + dashed off to find the ‘bearer’ + Nikrihu. I shouted the place down, as I did not know where they were, + eventually they crawled sleepily out of one of the huts in the compound. By dint of cursing + chasing them I managed to galvanise them into activity + managed
to get the luggage rushed down to the station, the train having been in some time. It was a very near thing. The Station-Master, like everyone else was half-asleep, so I had my goods bundled into the compartments, there being no time to weigh or pay for the luggage, + no one sufficiently awake to claim the freight. Very cold night again. Arrived at Lumding Junction at about 5.30 a.m. It was quite dark. I transferred to the “Hill Section” train on the Assam-Bengal Railway, + had breakfast at the station. The train left at 6.30 a.m. I travelled with a young tea-planter, who was good company, + also with a telegraph official. I lunched off biscuits + bananas, as I did not like the look of the regular lunching-place at Lower Haflong station. It is said to be very bad, + certainly looked it. The first 110 miles from Lumding Junction is over the “Hill Section”, very slow going, with heavy gradients. It took more than 10 hours to do the 110 miles! Fine jungle scenery. I saw some Huluks quite near the railway + heard others. Also saw some large Hornbills with black central tail-feathers. Arrived at Badapur (the junction for Sylhet) at about 4.55 p.m. + changed into another train with through carriage to Chandpur. Train left at 5.30 pm + arrived at Kilawra at 7.30 pm. I dined there + left at 8.15 pm. I saw among the varied lot of natives around some Kukis, who were carrying bullet-bows, for shooting clay pellets.
Sat. Dec. 9 Arrived at Laksam (junction for Chittagong) at 2.10 a.m. Changed to a cleaner – or less dirty – compartment, and left at 2.35 am. Arrived at Chandpur at 3.50 am. Transferred to the river steamer on the Brahmaputra. Not a bad vessel, of good size. I had a cabin + had a much-needed wash and shave, but I did not turn in as the scenery, sunrise and native river-craft were all picturesque + interesting. The boat started off at 4.50 a.m. Very few English on board. The meals were good + cheap (early breakfast, second breakfast and tiffin with beer came to only 4 1/2 rupees. I saw myriads of duck (Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall, Brahminy Duck, Spot-bills, etc.); many cranes, sandpipers in flocks and a few Terns. Fresh-water Dolphins (both Platanista and Orcella) were very abundant. It was quite cool on the water. The steamer stopped a few times; either running her nose onto a sandbank + putting out a gang-plank, or else going alongside large floating landing-stages. The Brahmaputra is several miles wide here + very shallow, with constantly shifting sand-banks. The water is opaque from heavy silt. The native craft were interesting. Some were very high out of the water at bow + stern (both sharp-pointed) [sketch]. Others were large sailing vessels with square sail + topsail, + platforms built out from the sides, piled high with pottery vessels. Others, again, had barge-like hulls and a whole series of outrigger-floats on each side. The whole surrounding country is flat, alluvial plain. We arrived at Goalundo
(a ‘place which shifts about according to the state of the river; it may be 20 miles further up at times) at 12.45 p.m, local time. There was a rush of coolies on board, which led to some being pushed off the gang-plank into the river. We were lying simply against a mud-bank. Huge numbers of Kites flew overhead. Passengers were transfered to a train, which started at 1.55 pm. Country quite flat. Birds were very numerous – Bee-eaters (Merops viridis); large, pale-blue Kingfishers; small Kingfishers (Alcedo ispida); Padi Egrets (Ardeola Grayi); Little Egrets (Garzetta); Drongos (Dicrurus ater); Indian Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle varia); Mynahs (Aeridotheres tristis); vultures, Kites, Brahminy Kites, Shikra (Astur badius); Indian Shag (Ph. fuscicollis); large plovers (? Spur-winged); various doves; large grey-brown Eagles with pale-grey head + black-tipped white tail; Grey Terns (Stema scena); Rollers (Coracias indica); Weaver-birds (nests); Shrikes (with chestnut back + black head); Marsh Harriers, ? Greenshanks, etc. etc. We arrived at Porodaha station (junction for Darjîling line) at 7.10 4.5 p.m; and at Sealdah station (Calcutta) at 7.10 pm. Annandale met me with a chuprassi. We taxied to the Indian Museum where Annandale occupied a palatial flat; Nikrihu + the ‘bearer’ brought the luggage along in a cart. Burns and two geologists, Tipper + Coulson, were also guests of Annandale.
[The fare from Dimapur to Calcutta was 1st class, 93 rupees, 3rd class, 14.14.0 for each servant – total, 122 R, 12 as].
Sun. Dec. 10 I spent most of the day in the Museum, but Annandale, Tipper and I went to the Zoo in the afternoon. The Zoo is very spacious + has several good exhibits, including Takin (2 for the London Zoo), Tahr + Markhor, Binturong, Panda, Nilgaie, Mithans, Huluks + Siamang, etc. On the big ‘tawk’ are swarms of Indian Darters + Cormorants (wild), which nest on the islands. Mr. J. van Manen dined with us in the evening.
Mon. 11 I was in the Museum nearly all day. I gave a lecture there at 6 pm, on “Prehistoric Art”, pretty well attended.
Tues. 12 Mostly in the Museum. After I had been round the Archaeological Depmt with Mr. R. Chanda, Annandale + I had a drive around the city, + then spent some time in the Club.
Wed. 13 I went to lunch at Government House with the Governor and Lady Lytton. It was an informal party with the two daughters + the Aides-de-Camp. Very friendly and charming. I was asked to look up the son, Lord Knebworth, now an undergrad at Magdalen. Government House stands very well + the rooms are very fine. At 6 p.m. I gave a lecture on “Primitive Currency” at the Museum. The evening was an interesting + amusing one, as “John”, the celebrated Chinese carpenter + restaurant keeper, invited us to dinner at his restaurant. Annandale, Tipper, Coulson + I were fetched in “John’s” car + taken to the restaurant in
the heart of China Town. “John” was a first-class host + gave us an excellent Chinese dinner (sharks’ fin soup, birds’ nest soup etc etc) with whisky and liqueurs. After dinner he took us to the Chinese Temple and School belonging to that district of China Town, + then we returned to Annandale’s flat in “Johns” car, having had a very jolly evening.
Thurs. Dec. 14 I examined Coggin Brown’s very interesting collection of stone and bronze implements from Yunnan, which includes some striking types, especially in bronze. A case of specimens was packed for me at the Museum, including some duplicate specimens from the Museum collection, to be sent by sea from Calcutta to Oxford. Van Manen came in to tea + gave me some Tibetan coins.
Fri. 15 I went to Grindlay + Co + arranged for sending off some cases by train. Send 15 rupees to Mrs. Jolly at Imphal, Manipur, for some models which had been made there for me. After lunch I went with Annandale to the Asiatic Society’s House, to see the pictures + the inscribed copper plates etc. of historical interest; + then went to the Club for a while. In the evening I took Annandale, Tipper + Coulson to the Empire Theatre to hear the “Yeomen of the Guard, with Workman as Jack Point. The performance was a very fair one. I packed until 2 a.m.
Sat. Dec. 16 Finished packing + arranged for some of my things to go by train to Bombay + others by sea from Calcutta. Took my tickets for Delhi (103 R. 7 as, first-class, and 21/15/9, third class for ‘bearer’). In the afternoon I went by invitation of the Tagore brothers, both artists, to see an exhibition of modern Indian art which had been got up by them. I met them both there + they showed me round. The Exhibition was not yet open to the Public. Many of the paintings in the old style of Moghul art were quite attractive + interesting; others were very poor + trashy + showed the bad effect of contamination with European art. There were some “Cubist” + “Vorticist” examples, but only a few were at all remarkable, + I was frankly disappointed at the ‘modern’ trend.
I left Calcutta by the 8.6 pm (R.T.) or 8.30 p.m (L.T.) Punjab Mail for Mughal Sarai. Cold night travelling. I dined off biscuits + chocolate. A bishop + a young Englishman travelled in my compartment, both very pleasant. They were bound for Lahore. Dead-flat country all the way, + beginning to show the effect of the dry season.
Sun. 17 Arrived at Mughal Sarai Junction at 9.2 a.m (R.T.) + changed to a train for Benares, leaving at 9.50 am. + reaching Benares at 10 am. I drove to Clarke’s Hotel, which is very fair, quite clean. Bedroom with large bath + dressing room attached (12 R. per day for board + lodging. Badly illuminated with oil lamps. Had a short walk in the morning, but the city is too
far away to get to easily on foot, + the sun was very hot + the dust was very trying. After lunch I took a trap + drove to the Durga Temple (“Monkey Temple”) on the western outskirts of the city. The Temple is a spiriform + stands in a small square, round the walls of which one can walk. Macaques are there in scores + come to be fed, some taking food from the hand. The Temple is red-ochred all over + fairly elaborately carved outside. It, and the large ‘tank’ by its side, date from the 18th century. Goats are sacrificed just outside + their blood is placed in a hollow on a low stone pillar. From there I drove to the Golden Temple, dedicated to Siva. It is not easily seen as the surrounding streets are very narrow, + all is dirt. From a first storey over a small shop one looks down on the Temple, which has three towers, two covered with copper, gilt and repoussé. The central tower is domed, the other two pointed. Inside sacred cows. The Gyan Kup (“Well of Knowledge”) is close to the Golden Temple, + near it is a great Nandi figure in stone, painted red. Close by is a hideous red figure of Ganesh with silver hands, feet, trunk and ears – a very unattractive figure standing by the road-side. After this I looked round part of the Bazaar in very narrow, crowded streets. Next I went down to the River, to the Asi Ghat, but did not stay long, + drove back to the hotel to nurse a bad cold in head + chest. I was disappointed in Benares. It is so ill-kept, dirty + slipshod. I had expected more colour.
The natives are an unsavoury lot; beggars are everywhere + tiresome. There are touts galore, + the priests at the temples are very numerous + just vulgar bakshish-cadgers.
Small ‘friction-drums are sold in the streets [sketch] and boys fly kites of a type given by Waddell to the Pitt Rivers Museum. I saw some bullet-bows, gulel, being carried. Card-weaving is carried on in some of the streets, for weaving inscribed bands. On the outskirts of the city one sees plenty of Hoopoes, Rollers and Bee-eaters; camels, buffaloes + humped cattle are everywhere as beasts of burden, and minute striped squirrels career about the trees + walls.
Mon. Dec. 18. I was up at 6 a.m. At 7 I started in a carriage for the River. I went to one of the Ghats + embarked on a quaint, ramshackle sort of small house-boat, on the top of which a chair was put for me, and was rowed along past the front of the Ghats where thousands of people were gathered, bathing in the sacred river, playing, contemplating and loafing. Priests sat about everywhere under huge basketry umbrellas. Stark-naked fakirs, covered with ashes, sat immobile in a state of unsavoury ‘sanctity’, looking anything but holy. The whole colour effect was very fine. Many of the people appeared really devout + in earnest. Others were laughing + joking + far from serious. Sacred cattle were strolling about. Corpses were being carried down to the Burning Ghat, wrapped merely in thin white fabric.
White vultures with black flight-feathers were well in evidence, sandpipers + wagtails ran over the mud. Kites + Crows were in hundreds, and thousands of pigeons (mostly like stock-doves), which are protected on this side of the Ganges, flew around or went into holes in the buildings. Macaques played about in the trees. Several of the buildings, erected by various Maharajas are fine; some have come to grief, owing to their foundations having given way + there is a lot of ruin. After going some way up stream, the boat was turned downstream and, passing the place of embarcation, went past the old Observatory Palace and the Burning Ghat + others of the lower ghats. I went ashore to visit a Durga Temple, which is very elaborately carved – a series of complete-relief stone carvings of musicians runs right round below the eaves. Various instruments are represented, including performers on the Indian iron jews harp, [sketch]; the temple was built by Rajah Ameti, about 150 years ago. I next visited the Nepalese Temple, which, like the other, stands high above the Ghats. It is chiefly remarkable for some very good teak carvings, + for a partly-gilt roof hung with bells which have leaf-ended clappers for sounding in a wind. Many of the carvings are highly + the priest carefully points these out to the exclusion of the more interesting carvings. Returning to the boat I returned to the ghat where I had embarked + paid 3 rupees
for the boat + 1 rupee to the men, + got back to the hotel for breakfast at 9.45 am. In the afternoon I drove to Sarnath (c. 4 or 5 miles from the hotel) along a road shaded with tamarind + mango trees, to visit the famous Buddhist site. The buildings are mostly in ruins, but part of a very large stupa of brick faced with stone remains standing + exhibits good carvings (linked swastikas etc). on the outside stone-work. Many carved stones remain standing among the ruins, and small stupas, elaborately carved, are fairly well preserved. A great many carvings (both Buddhist + Hindu) are preserved in the adjoining Museum, which is full of interest. Returned to the hotel + paid 13 rupees for the carriage for the two days, and 6 rupees to Mohammed Hussain, my guide, also for the two days. I turned in at 10 pm. in view of an early start in the morning.
Tues. Dec. 19. Got up at 4.25 a.m., + left at 5 for the station in a ‘box carriage’, a primitive and uncomfortable conveyance. The train (5.45 a.m) started just before 6 + reached Moghal Sarai Junction at 6.30 a.m, just about sunrise. [458 miles from Howrah]. I had to take this early train, as the Dehra Dun mail had been running late + had not been making good connection with the Punjâb Mail. I had a long wait for the latter, which arrived at 9.10 am and left at 9.42. I shared a compartment with a fat babu, who made meals in the compartment, mostly of evil-smelling
curry, + who wore – or, rather, took off – horrible elastic-sided boots, exposing grimy-woollensocks. He was not interesting. He gave me very little information, also a very progressive flea, but was quite civil. The country was quite flat + drying up. At first many palms, later mangoes + other trees. Arrived at Mirzapur 10.14 am; Allahabad, where the Jumna is crossed, at 11.51 am; Fatehpur at 14.26; Cawnpore, 15.46; Etawah, 18.18; Tundla, 20.18; and Delhi (903 miles from Howra) at 0.34 a.m. During the journey the birds were interesting. Among them were Goliath Herons, white-necked Black Storks, A Stork (?) with pink on a whiteish body, Padi-birds (but no white Egrets), Black-winged Stilts, Greenshanks, Snipe, Sarus Cranes, Common Heron, Plovers with brown back + black-+-white markings, Moorhens, a large Gallimule, Water-rails, Black-necked ibis, Grey River-Terns, white vultures with black primaries, brown vultures with grey heads, Shikra Goshawks, Govindi Kites, Brahminy Kites, Common Green Bee-eaters with bronze wings, Rollers, Mynahs (3 kinds), Drongos, Red-backed Shrikes, Grey Shrikes, Hoopoes, Weaver-birds, Centropus-like cuckoos with copper-red back + wings + metallic-black head + neck, long black tail. At dusk Little Owls were numerous on the telegraph wires. I also saw some long-tailed green parrots with pale breasts, and a small Hornbill, a hare, a small mongoose + many macaques. The villages, mostly of sun-dried + in a very dilapidated state.
[---FACING PAGE: sketch of a macaque, unlabelled.---]
Wed. Dec. 20 It was pitch dark + very cold when I arrived at Delhi at 12.30 a.m. I drove to the Hotel Cecil + got to bed at about 2 a.m., but did not sleep well, so I got up at 7. The hotel is quite good. I got a wire from Sir Malcolm Hailey to say that he was away + would not be in Delhi for some days. During the morning I had a walk to the Kashmir Gate + I went on through it past the old Fort + along the main street of Delhi, which is not very interesting. I turned back + sat in the garden of St. James’s Church, + watched the Hoopoes Mynahs, Sunbirds, small palm-squirrels + a mongoose, etc. After lunch I shared a car for 3 hours with a young American, W. Fleming of Philadelphia + Princeton University, + we drove about old Delhi, to the south of Delhi City. We first went through the Kashmir Gate through the city + out at the Delhi Gate, to the Purana Kila (Indrapat), a large rectangular fort surrounded by high walls. Inside is the Mosque of Sher Shah; who built the fort, which has some good carvings and a good view over the Jumna. Next we went to the Mausoleum of Humayun. Then to the Dargah, or shrine of Nizam-ud-din-Aulia, where there is a deep tank into which people dive. The tomb of the saint is elaborate with pierced marble screens, + ceiling richly inlaid with mother-o-pearl. There is also the tomb of the poet Amir Khusru, also with finely executed marble pierced work. We went on to Lal Kot, away to the south, to see the Kutb Minar, a Mahomedan tower 238 ft high + 47 ft in diameter at the base, tapering upward, and the
Mosque of Kutb ul Islam, which occupies part of the site of a Jain temple, the cloister pillars of which are very interestingly carved, though many were damaged by the Moslems. In the court stands the famous pillar of soft iron which has been scientifically studied + analysed by Sir R. Hadfield. On the way back we stopped at the Mausoleum of Nawab Safdar Jang, where the marble cenotaph is very finely carved. The actual tomb is in a crypt under the building. We returned via the Observatory erected by the Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, with its huge, built up astronomical instruments, and drove through the partly-erected buildings of the new Capital (New Delhi), to be completed in about 10 year’s time. We got back to the hotel at about 6 pm. It rained heavily during the night.
Thurs. Dec. 21 I had a walk in the morning along the East Wall of the City + back through the Kudsia Gardens and Nicholson Gardens. I saw many Hoopoes, Mynahs, Kites + White Vultures; also a bird with magpie-like chatter, buffish body, black head + neck, white + black wings + long whiteish tail with black tips. The Macaques along the roads were very tame + plentiful. I saw many Mongooses during the afternoon. After tea I walked out to the Ridge, north-west of Delhi + returned as it got too dark to see anything more.
Fri. Dec. 22. It rained hard all the morning + I did not go out, but it cleared at 2 pm. + I spent the afternoon visiting the Fort and Palace buildings + the Museum inside the Fort. The buildings are all well labelled.
Sat. 23 Up at 6.30 am. Breakfast at 7.45. I drove to the station for the 9.20 am train for Agra. The train was more than an hour late + did not reach Agra till past 2 pm. Agra is 100 miles from Delhi (Fares came to 22 R 4 as for a first class + a third class from Delhi). After lunch at the Hotel Cecil, which is a long way from the Cantonment station where I had arrived, I walked two miles to the Taj Mahal, which I found immensely fascinating. Looking from it down onto the Jumna I could see scores of huge river-tortoise swimming about. Their numbers were accounted for by a priest of the adjacent mosque by the fact that the Burning Ghats of the Hindus lie just above this part of the river! The Hotel Cecil is very nicely appointed.
Sun. 24 Walked to the Fort in the morning, but could not get in without a pass. So I went on beyond the Jumna Bridge and had a general look around, + then crossed the line + wandered through the native bazaars which are interesting + picturesque. Camels are largely used both for riding and for transport, or harnessed to crazy looking vehicles which might have been designed by Heath Robinson. Later I got a pass for the Fort,
+ went there with J.D. Rogers, and American engineer, and H.G. Pooler, an Englishman. We went round the palaces, mosques etc in the Fort which occupies a very large area. Much interested in the great contrast between the marble buildings inlaid with coloured stones of Shah Jehan’s time and the earlier red sandstone architecture of Akbar’s time. The carvings of both periods very fascinating. We spent several hours in the Fort.
Mon. Dec. 25 Up at 6 am. The American, Rogers, and I caught the 7 a.m. train at the Fort Station for Fatehpur Sikri, taking his bearer with a lunch basket with us. We went all over the old town of Akbar in a fairly leisurely way, spending the whole day there, with short intervals for lunch + tea at the Dak Bungalow. Fine, warm day and a wonderfully interesting place. It is surrounded by a huge sandstone wall enclosing a very large area. Some of the buildings are in excellent state, others in ruins. Some of the carvings are exquisite. Most of the buildings are of red sandstone, but the tomb of the Saint (Shaikh Salim Chishti) is of pure-white marble beautifully carved, with a canopy over the cenotaph inalid all over with mother-o-pearl in lovely designs. We sat for a good while on the top of the Elephant Tower.
We took the 6.36 p.m. train (which did not start till after 7) back to Agra + arrived at the hotel at 8.45 pm. Dressed + went into dinner at 9.15. Christmas dinner + decorations. The manager of the hotel entertained us with
some really first-class sleight-of-hand tricks, mostly with cards, very cleverly executed.
Tues. Dec. 26 I stayed in bed till 7.30 a.m. During the morning I drove with Rogers to the tomb of the Prime Minister (_____ [left blank]) across the Jumna + immediately to the left. The tomb is of white marble exquisitely carved + inlaid + is surrounded by red sandstone buildings, gates etc., as at the Taj. We then drove back across the bridge + visited a large hand-made carpet factory + watched men + boys at work upon the carpets. Many very young boys were working with great dexterity. The pattern was ‘read’ out aloud by a ‘master reader’ + repeated by one of the boys at each loom. Straight iron-teethed combs used for ‘beating in’, and razor-sharp curved knives for cutting the ends of the wool when tied into the warp.
We walked back to the hotel via the Park (c. 4 miles). At 4 pm. I walked to the Taj Mahal, for a second visit. It was indescribably beautiful at sunset and with a half moon. I watched the great water-tortoises in the Jumna. Pied Kingfishers (Ceryle) diving into the river, Common Sandpipers, Kites + White Vultures on the banks. Green Parrots flying around + screaming. Two very large owls were croaking in a tree + I saw them fly off. Returned to the hotel and caught the 9.55 pm. train from the Fort Station for Jaipur. I travelled with an Indian merchant, who was civil but very Indian in his way. Cold journey.
Wed. Dec. 27 Arrived at Jaipur at 4.45 a.m., before scheduled time! I had to galvanize my bearer from somnolence into quasi-activity. I drove to the “New Hotel” + lay down on the bed half-dressed. Early tea was brought at 6 + I got up at 7.30 am. After breakfast I went for a walk by myself (I was the only visitor in the hotel). I walked to the Ram Nervar Garden, outside the city on the S. side + about 2 miles from the hotel. There I strolled about, visited the Museum at the Albert Hall (fairly interesting) + the collection of animals in the Zoo part of the gardens (not up to much). Walked back to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon I hired a victoria + drove to the city of Jaipur, entering by the Chand Pole Gate + driving down the main street. Nearly all the buildings are painted pink, giving a curious effect, rather pleasing. I went to the Palace + looked round inside at the Durbar halls etc, + visited the garden + also the crocodile tank, where there are several very large crocs. Some were lying out on the bank + were pretty tame. I went up quite close to them, but kept clear of their tails. The Palace is disappointing inside + poorly kept. I next visited the Observatory, which, like the one at Delhi, has immense instruments built up of brick + stone etc. Some huge bronze astrolabes are suspended. I then went to the Maharaja’s stables, which are very extensive, the open stalls enclosing a huge rectangular exercising ground. There were hundreds of horses there, many of them well-bred, largely of Arab stock; and numerous polo ponies. The late Maharaja’s special horse was brought out for me to see – not a bad beast. Horses are trained to ‘show off’.
I then drove down a side street at the end of which is a collection of 6 or 7 tigers in separate cages, some fine examples among them. Next I waited at the Square near the Hawa Mahal, to see the Maharaja’s elephants paraded. There were seven of them, all with their foreheads blackened + several with their faces elaborately painted in coloured designs.
The city is enclosed by high, crenelated walls + the streets are wide, with small shops along both sides. Metal-workers, dyers who were dyeing cloth + drying it on the pavements or by carrying long lenths [sic] about the streets; spinning with the Indian wheel; winnowing and grinding flour with rotary hand-querns; shoe-making etc., could all be seen in operation. The women are mostly dressed in dark Indian-red colour. There is plenty of life + colour in the town. There are myriads of Kites, many white vultures + dark vultures; green parrots are very tame + feed in the streets, as do thousands of pigeons (? Stock doves). Very fine long-tailed Hanuman monkeys are about the city + outside it. Minute Palm Squirrels are everywhere + very tame.
I drove back via the Ajmer Gate + got to the hotel at 6 pm., paying the driver 3 R. 8 as for the three hours. In the hotel I met a “Saint”, who smoked cigarettes + had tea with me. He presented me with an apple. He travels by himself all over India, visiting people who have need of him. Quite a decent sort. I dined alone +, after a short country walk by moonlight, turned in early, having had a fairly full day.
Thurs. Dec. 28. Left the hotel at 9 a.m. + drove to Ambèr (c. 8 miles), passing through Jaipur via the Saganer and Ambèr Gates. Drove through the gate of the outer wall of Ambèr + to the foot of the Palace Hill. An elephant was waiting to take some people up the hill. I walked up to it + went all over the old Palace. Some of the marble carving is very good, fine pillars + carved porch. The interiors are mostly painted crudely and gaudily, or inlaid with mirror-mosaics. The presentation is for the most part good + there are fine views over old Ambèr and the sometime lake. One is pestered by quite useless menials who dog one about + ask for bakshish + generally annoy one. These pests spoil every place one visits + should be destroyed.
Afterwards I went through the lower part of the old town, still largely inhabited, and looked at the houses, temples (Hindu, Jain + Moslem) + shrines; and then I made for the Delhi Gate, which has enormous, iron-studded doors. I fed a large troop of Bhanda monkeys which were hanging about the buildings + trees. They were very tame + some took food from my hand after the first shyness had worked off. I drove back to the hotel via the Ambèr + Chand Pole Gates, getting back at 1 pm. Paid 8 R. for the drive to Ambèr + back + 3 R. to a guide. Peacocks abound in + around Jaipur, perching on the houses, nobody molesting the birds which are sacred. I spent the afternoon in writing. Caught the 7.20 pm. train for Ajmere + Udaipur. Arrived at Ajmer at 11.30 pm. Changed train + started again at about midnight.
Dec. 29 I had a compartment to myself till Nasirabad, where Colonel Kidd, who had been shooting, got in. I found that he is a friend of Hutton + was in Manipur + Kohima with him. We arrived at Chitorgarh Station at about 6.30 a.m., + Col. Kidd + Capt. Eyre (Adjutant) + I went to the Dak bungalow for early tea. They were charming companions + were going to visit the old fort of Chitorgarh, which stands on a high ridge about 3 miles from the station + in full view from it. I went on by the 8 a.m. train for Udaipur. Saw some white-necked black storks and some black-necked black-+-white storks with red legs; also Sarus Cranes, wild peacocks, Common Swallows and Blackbucks. The flat country was much dried up + brown, but got greener as Udaipur was approached. Hill ranges became more frequent. Arrived at Udaipur (Mewar State) at 12.30 p.m. H.H. the Maharana had sent a victoria + pair with red-coated driver to meet me. I drove to the Maharana’s Guest House, my kit being brought along with my bearer in a tonga. The Guest House (M.R. Kazi, manager) is charmingly placed, overlooking the beautiful Fateh Sagar Lake, + stands upon Moti Magri (‘Pearl’ Hill). I had the Guest House all to myself; it is extremely nice + spacious. Large bedroom with dressing-room + large verandah. An English-speaking chuprassi had been told off to show me the sights. After a change + an excellent tiffin, I went down to the head of the Pichola Lake + took a boat with 4 rowers. We passed under a bridge + passed islands occupied by cormorants + egrets etc. At a bathing ghat were a number of people bathing after
having cremated a dead person. We passed on into the main Pichola Lake + along the front of the imposing array of temples and palaces standing high above the lake shore, a most impressive sight of buildings mostly white. I landed on Jag Niwas Island + visited the house which is beautiful outside + rather tawdry within, with much inlaid mirror work, crude paintings, an elaborate glass bedstead etc. Thence I was rowed to the Jag Mandir Island where there is another small palace, in which Shah Jehan lived for a time. A good garden occupies most of the island. From here I went to the end of the lake, to the Khar Odi (the chief shooting-box) where hundreds of wild boars, sows + young had assembled to be fed. They were very tame but fought amongst themselves + raised huge clouds of dust. In the building there is a deep arena where leopard versus boar fights are staged, the boar nearly always winning. A splendid view of the town + palaces is seen from here. After crossing to the Embankment I transfered with one of H.H.’s ministers, sent to meet me, to a carriage + drove back to the Guest House through the town, which is very picturesque. The streets are narrow + easily blocked. We were held up for some time by a dozen or so cows laden with straw. Another block was caused by one of the state elephants which filled the street + was a leisurely mover. I got back to the Guest House at 6 pm. had tea + a bath, followed by an excellent dinner at 8. In the evening, after sundown lots of wild pigs come and feed in the scrub immediately below the terrace of the Guest House. I saw many of them, some not twelve yards
from where I stood, + I could hear them crunching and fighting long after it was too dark to see more than their dim forms in the moonlight. I turned in at 10 pm. Very tired.
Sat. Dec. 30 In the morning I drove in the Maharaja’s carriage to the Sajjan Niwas Gardens, to the Victoria Hall, a quite modern building, and looked at the collection of carnivora in cages. The gardens are fine + well-watered. The Samar Gardens is reserved for the heir apparent + contains a villa. I next drove to the Palace + went all over the “New Palace” which is beautiful outside but very disappointing inside with its poor European furniture + wretched paintings. Among the chief embellishments of one of the drawing-rooms I was amused to see an ordinary bedroom cheval glass and two large upright European weighing-machines of the ‘penny-in-the-slot type! Eastward drift of European ‘civilization’, no doubt, but hardly progress! A meeting of East & West which is valde deflendus! There are very fine views from the windows + terraces, mostly over the Lake. On the way back to the Guest House I stopped at the Temple of Jagdish, or Jagganath Raiji, early XVII century. It is very finely carved all over and towers above the Gangor Ghât. Steps lead up to it from the street. It contains an image of Kali, + in front of the Temple is a shrine with a large brass figure of Garuda.
At 12.30 pm. I drove to the Old Palace to be received by the Maharana (Sir Fateh Singh Bahadur, G.C.S.I., G.C.V.O.). Arriving through the Bari Pol (gate) I saw 13 of the state
elephants tethered on the terrace. I was received by a courtier who took me to the Audience Room where H.H. was awaiting me, seated in state. One of the Court officials acted as interpreter. The Maharana, who is 74 years of age, was looking very well + certainly did not look his age. I gave him Sir Claude Hill’s letter of introduction + thanked him cordially for his generous hospitality to me. This grand old conservative prince has certainly done me well, since not only am I his guest during my stay in Udaipur, but a carriage + pair has been at my disposal whenever I liked, and a boat on the Lake, but also I was promised a car to take me to Jai Samand and a small steam launch for an excursion on that lake.
After leaving the Maharana, I went over the Old Palace which is quite interesting. From the terrace-roof there is a magnificent view over the town on one side + the lake on the other. A courtyard contains a number of peacocks (Indian, white + Japanese varieties), also some Chukar Partridges. Some of the rooms are decorated with glass-mosaic – animal figures cut out of glass + set in plaster, clever but flashy. The furniture is largely European + there is a lot of solid glass furniture (chair, tables etc), striking but hardly attractive.
In the afternoon I drove to the Sahelion-ki-Bari (Slave Girls’ Garden) along the Fateh Sagar Lake. Very nicely kept up + furnished with elaborate fountain tanks in which water shoots up all round in jets, in some through the beaks of birds + in another through the trunks of four large marble elephants.
Afterwards I drove to the Victoria Hall in the Sajjan Niwas Gardens to see the small museum there, not very interesting. The turban worn by Shah Jehan when living on Jagmandir Island is the chief treasure. I photographed a small Hindu temple near the Delhi Gate on my way back to the Guest House. In the evening the wild swine were feeding again just below the Guest House. I had a short walk down to the Fatch Sagar Lake after sundown.
Sun. Dec. 31 A great many vultures (both white and dark, buff-headed kinds) were soaring round the Guest House in the early morning. At about 10.15 am a Willys Knight car was sent for me by H.H. to take me to Jai Samand Lake (c. 34 miles away), with a very good, English-speaking driver. Lunch + tea + a Kitmagar were furnished from the Guest House. The road led over rough low-scrub country with many palms at first. Later, jungle-growth was higher. Road very bumpy + twisting. Once we got snagged in a ditch but no damage was done, + the car was held up for an hour with a blocked carburettor [sic]. We did not reach the lake till after 1 pm, having met the man in charge of the steam-launch on the road. He was not expecting me, the Maharana’s orders having failed to reach him. We captured him, however, + took him on to the lake. It took 2 1/2 hours for him to get up steam. I filled up time by looking over the small Palace on the dam + in examining the splendid dam itself, which converted the valley into a most beautiful lake 7 miles long. Presently the launch appeared + was very clumsily brought alongside. The launch took me round a great part of
the lake, past islands upon which were Bhil villages. We passed two of the small + very rough 5-log rafts used by the Bhils for navigation. Both were carrying loads of hay piled high up. One was propelled by two boys, the other by two young girls, paddling in the bows. They were induced to come alongside after much shouting + persuasion. The lake is one of the most beautiful + the largest artificial lakes in India. Cormorants, Shags, Darters (‘Snake-birds, Anhinga), small grey Terns + larger grey-backed Terns with yellow beaks, Common and Pied Kingfishers, large Egrets, Common Herons, Brahminy Kites + Govindhi Kites, were the chief birds seen. When fishing, the Darters dive from their nearly submerged position, by [sketch] gradually lowering the neck stiffly, the tip of the beak being the last part to disappear under water. When the head is completely submerged the bird shoots forward + downward. The action in diving more resembles that of the Divers (Colymbidae) than that of their nearer relatives, the Cormorants. Fish are very abundant in the lake + were rising freely, some evidently of large size. Small fry were spattering on the surface to escape their enemies. The beauty of the lake increased as the sun got lower. When the launch got back to the landing I had tea on the Dam, + started to motor back to Udaipur at 5.20 p.m. We passed several Bhil villages + fields with observation machans on high piles and with circular, umbrella-like shading-roofs. [sketch]
Many of the Bhils carried bows + arrows (I bought a bow + two arrows for 8 annas). The women were wearing numbers of brass, white-metal and lac armlets and anklets. The children were mostly stark naked. There were quantities of partridges, francolins, quails, doves + wild peacocks along + on the road, + often we nearly ran over them. Bee-eaters, green parrots, ‘seven sisters’ (Babblers), ring-doves + Vinous-breasted Doves abounded, + also Mynahs. Common Coucals were common. Jackals ran in front of the car + we passed quite close to a herd of Chinkara antelopes. At the Dam I had seen very many of the long-tailed Entellus Monkeys (pale buff-grey with black faces).
I got back to the Guest House in very good time, the car having travelled rapidly + well. I then packed + prepared for an early departure next morning, after a most enjoyable last day of the year.
Mon. Jan. 1. Up at 6 am. + after breakfast I sent my luggage + bearer on to the station in a tonga; gave 10 R. to the manager + 6 R. to the staff of the Guest House + 5 R. to the driver of the state carriage + drove in the latter to the station. I took the 8.30 am. train to Chitorgarh, travelling with one Englishman bound for Ajmer. Very slow journey. At Debari (the first station from Udaipur) a large troupe of Langur monkeys raced down to the train + sat on the bank about 4 feet from the carriages; some even boarded the train + accepted biscuits etc. Arrived at Chitorgarh at 12.40 pm. There I took a tonga and a chuprassi, who had been hired for by the Maharana’s orders, and
drove up to the old Fort on the ridge. Slow drive along a very bad road, the last part up a very steep hill + through Chitor village. I passed through seven gateways on the way up + passed several chatris marking spots where defenders of the Fort had been killed. I visited some Jain + Hindu temples with very fine carvings, also the two carved towers, a picturesque tank + other buildings. I had no time for seeing more than a portion of the great array of interesting structures. I drove back in the tonga to the Dak Bungalow + had tea, then to the station to catch the 4.40 pm train to Rutlam. I travelled alone + reached Rutlam at 11 p.m., where I changed into the Bombay train.
Tues. Jan. 2 The train crossed the Nerbudda near Surat. The country was becoming much greener, a change after burnt up Rajputana. Between Surat + Bombay I saw Egrets (large + small), Padi birds, Black-winged Stilts, Greenshanks, Redshanks, Dunlin, vultures (dark with white thorax + red face), white and black vultures, grey Harriers, moorhens, Grebes, Grey Shrikes + red-breasted black-+-white Shrikes, Fork-tailed Drongos, Hoopoes, Bee-eaters, red-headed blue Kingfishers, Common Kingfishers (A. ispida), Kestrels, Terns, Caspian Terns, Gulls, Sarus Cranes, etc. I got a view of the sea at one point. Estuarine conditions with mangrove trees along the coast. Palms very numerous. I arrived at Bombay (colaba) at 1.40 p.m. + drove to the Taj Hotel. I got a room on the 5th (top) floor, at 14 R. per day for board + lodging. I changed this for another with bathroom (15 R. per day). After tiffin I found
two coolies fighting in the lounge, where several English ladies were sitting as well as men. A crowd of hotel employés stood around but made no effort to stop the fight, even when I told them to + also what I thought of them. I had to stop the fight myself by hammering the two coolies till they separated + I then kicked them apart + prevented their grappling again. I told the Manager how disgraceful it was that such a scene could be allowed in a hotel + before English ladies; but he did not seem to care a scrap. A vilely run hotel + ridiculously expensive. I went to Grindlay’s + saw Hetherington, who said that my baggage from Calcutta had arrived + gave me letters etc. forwarded from Government House. He also put my name down at the Yacht Club as a temporary member. I dined with him and Mr. Arnold at the Club, + sat with them in the garden till 11.15 pm. Very delightful with a full moon + outlook over the water.
Wed. Jan. 3 After chota hazri in bed I got up + went to the Club for breakfast. I went to the Museum, which is disappointing, as there are few labels + very little information. The building is badly designed for a museum. The zoological collections were not on view. I went to the P+O. Office + verified my passage home in the “Moldavia”, + I drew some money at Cook’s. Dined at the Club with Wilson (American Consul), Molyneux and Thomas (Assistant Consul)
Thurs. Jan. 4 I spent a long time trying to locate Lewis’s clients in Shaik Menon Street but could not find any of their names on the signs, + the numbering of the houses seems to have no organised system. In the densely-crowded, narrow streets in this part of Bombay, with the walls covered with names + advertisements, it would require a clever guide to find anything. The heat, smells, dust + jostle were very trying + I was glad to get away, even though unsuccessful, as it was extremely tiring + the fever was making me limp. So I went to the National Bank of India, to see what I could do there. I saw the Assistant Manager, who said he would go over my list of names + introduce to me an “honest broker” who could give reliable information. I made appointment for next day. I had tea at the Club, as I had not had lunch. Dined with Arnold, Hetherington + Tod, + played snooker with the two former, whom I managed to beat by a good margin.
Friday, 5 The “Moldavia” arrived early. After breakfast at the Club, I paid off my bearer + took my heavy luggage down to Ballard’s Pier. Lunched with Wilson, to meet Prof. and Mrs. Garner of Illinois University, who were going home in the “Moldavia”. Went round to the N.B.I. and saw the manager + Mr. Manchlal (a Parû broker of reliability of H. Nagindas + Co, and Mr. Sohovala (of Premchand Roychand + Sons). I got from them statements as to the status + soundness of the bullion-dealers on Lewis’s list. Interview very helpful. I went down to the “Moldavia” + looked at my cabin [Promenade Deck, starboard side, berth 214], + went over the ship which is on her first trip very new + clean. She can carry 14,000 tons of cargo.
In the evening Wilson invited me to drive with him while he paid duty-calls in the suburbs. We drove out to Malabar Hill + had a view over Bombay from the “Hanging Gardens”; then past many very large houses of various Maharajas (Gwalior, Baroda, etc), + other wealthy residents. I dined with Wilson and Thomas. There was a dance at the Club that night. Wilson + I and a geologist sat talking on the Club terrace till 10.30 pm. or so.
Saturday, Jan. 6 I was up early + had breakfast at the Club. Paid my Club chits (17R/8/0), my subscription as a temporary member (32 R) having been paid by Hetherington. I was not sorry to take my things from and see the last of the Taj Mahal Hotel, a pretentious + vilely-run place, and taxi to Ballard’s Pier to go on board. The “Moldavia” cast off at 1 pm. + went straight out to sea. Very calm, with a light breeze. No movement. I met Sir William + Lady Edwards on board + had a long talk with them. Saw a few Gannets (? D. piscator) and Tropic Birds (Ph. indicus)
Sunday, 7. Still perfectly calm with very light breeze. No incidents. Spent most of the day sorting papers + notes in my cabin. (Run, 358 kn)
Monday, 8 Quite calm (Run, 369 kn.)
Tuesday, 9 Ditto. I had a touch of malaria in the afternoon. So I turned in at 7 pm. instead of going to dinner. Temperature 101°. I raised a good sweat under a blanket. (Run, 388).
Wednesday, Jan. 10. Felt better when I awoke, and got up for breakfast. A few dolphins, black-backed Gulls and Tropic-birds were about. Calm. Anchored at Aden just after midnight. (Run, 383 kn)
Thursday, 11. Left Aden at 4 a.m. Strong following wind in the Red Sea, keeping down the heat. Passed the islands during the morning.
(Run, 127 kn.)
Friday, 12. Southerly wind still strong (Run, 379 kn.)
Saturday, 13. (Run, 376 kn.)
Sunday, 14. Entered Gulf of Suez early in the morning. Arrived at Suez at about 4.30 pm. We did not stop long. The Canal was passed mostly during the night. (Run, 363 kn.)
Monday, 15. The Lagoons to the west of the Canal were alive with birds. Duck, sandpipers, Dunlins, Stints, Stilt-plovers, in myriads. Numerous herons + flamingoes in large flocks but rather far off. One pelican seen. The Ducks were hard to identify as the shimmering light blurred them; but Shovellers were numerous + conspicuous + I think that Gadwall + Garganey both were there. Very few geese to be seen. Of land-birds I saw Kites, Peregrines, Kingfishers (both Ceryle and ispida), + ? a Marsh Harrier.
Arrived at Port Said at 9 a.m. I watched some very clever native jugglers on board + then went ashore for a short while. Coaling took a long time + we did not sail
till 4.45 pm. H.M.S. “Ajax” left for Constantinople, passing quite close to us + looking fine, with 10 twelve-inch guns in pairs.
Tuesday, Jan. 16 Westerly wind, increasing, with sharp rain-showers. Chilly. Passing Crete at night. I had a touch of fever during the day. (Run, 275 kn)
Wednesday, 17 W. wind increasing; sea rough + ship pitching. Alternate rain and sun. (Run, 334 kn.)
Thursday, 18. Strong northerly wind. Calabria + Sicily covered with snow. Very cold all day. The top of Etna was not visible. We were passing the Straits of Messina at about 10.15 a.m. Fair amount of sunshine. Stromboli abeam at 2.30 pm., mildly active. (Run, 334 kn.)
Friday, 19. Cold north wind. Entered the Straits of Bonifacio soon after midday. Snow on the Corsican + Sardinian hills. Gulf of Lyons calm. (Run, 336 kn.)
Saturday, 20. Passed the outward-bound P+O. SS “Khyber” just outside Marseilles, c. 8.30 am. Entered dock at Marseilles c. 8.30 a.m.
I spent two hours ashore but the wind was very cold + unpleasant + I returned on board for lunch. The P.+O. special train left at 4.30 pm. + I saw off Mrs. Kirby, Mrs. Woolacott, Sir E. + Lady Edwards, Mr. + Mrs. Duff + Hiley. We sailed at 8.45 pm.
Sunday, Jan. 21 A wild night with strong north wind + rough sea. Same in the morning; very cold. The ship rolled heavily and yawed about uneasily. In the afternoon it moderated a bit + by nightfall the wind had dropped considerably. Barcelona was passed in the early morning + the Balearic Ids. somewhat later. (Run, 205 kn.)
We had lost time during the night, through having to alter course several points while all hands attended to the bridge-awnings etc. which had carried away. Night fairly calm.
Monday, 22. Very fine, sunny morning; wind slight + sea calming down rapidly. Quite calm in the evening. Arrived at Gibraltar at 8.30 pm. The lights of the town + harbour made a fine effect. Several pinnaces from war-ships came alongside. It took a very long time embarking passengers from the tender. 30 first-class passengers joined the ship, mostly from Algeciras, including Lord Selborne. We left Gibraltar at about 11.30 pm.
Tuesday, 23. Fine and calm. I went down with very weekly attack of fever during the morning. Violent shivering + a high temperature. Aching all over. I lay down on my bunk for the rest of the day + turned in before dinner, only semiconscious + feeling thoroughly bad (Run, 194 kn.)
Wednesday, 24. Calm in the morning, though wind rising. Off Finisterre about lunch-time. (Run, 356 kn.). Blowing fairly hard in the Bay, but the ship fairly steady. Many adult Gannet off the
Portuguese coast. Had a long talk with the Rev. A.A. Thomson of the Solomon Islands Mission (+ of Thistleton Rectory, Oakham, Rutland).
Thursday, Jan. 25. Perfectly calm all day + sun shining. Ushant abeam at 5.30 pm.
[N.B.: Accompanying this journal are two small booklets containing field notes Balfour made during his Naga Hills trip, November-December 1922. They consist mainly of sketches, some of which are recognizable as preparatory sketches for more elaborate illustrations found in the diary itself.]