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How history is shaping the future in Nagaland

Remote region on India-Myanmar border hones efforts to attract international tourism

Yaiphaba Kangjam, a battlefield guide and historian, poses with a Japanese World War II helmet found in the fields of Jessami, a village in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur. (Photo by Bertie Alexander)

KHARASOM, India -- We were served sweet tea and shortbread while waiting for the king, sitting on low rattan stools in a single-story red-brick cottage. Two boys crouched behind our hostess, staring unblinking with bold, hazel eyes, sucking on their biscuits. At my feet yawned a Naga hunting hound, a midnight black Tangkhul Hui.

Suddenly, a man burst into the room wearing a large and untucked check shirt, loose cornflower chinos hanging about his ankles. He shook hands, but it quickly transpired that this was not the king (perhaps better described as the village chief) but his chief minister. "The king is ill," he said. "Very ill, in fact."

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