This picture is of Pei – our local fixer in India’s Northeast for most of our trip:
Pei is from a warrior tribe known as the Nyishi which have a fierce reputation. And, of course, Pei’s sword, which he takes with him everywhere, does nothing to dispel this impression. The strap on Pei’s sword is made from the hide of a bear and the scabbard from that of a monkey.
People are often intimidated when they discover they are dealing with a Nyishi tribesman as the last thing they want to do is to incur the wrath of the Nyishi. This state of affairs, naturally, makes things easier when dealing with the police, hotel owners, shopkeepers and the like.
However, appearance and the Nyishi reputation aside, Pei is a genuinely nice guy and a great travel companion. His family also owns a tea plantation which Pei was kind enough to give us a tour of (I’ll share that post soon).
At the time I took the picture above, Pei was suffering badly from malaria.