The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts on the Nagas from 'Census of India, 1931 - Volume III - Assam Report'

caption: Appendix A. The effect on the tribes of the Naga Hills district of Contacts with civilization, by J.P. Mills, I.C.S
caption: wage-labour in the plains
medium: reports
person: Mullan/ C.S.Mills/ J.P.
date: 1931
text: There is no systematic recruitment of hillmen for work in the plains. Gangs, especially of Semas and Aos, go down in the cold weather to work on tea gardens in order to earn cash for their house tax. They come back none the better for the journey. Women do not go down with the men in any large numbers, but when they do go girls are not infrequently lured into a career of prostitution by the prospect of an easy life, being unable to distinguish between the easy-going moral code of their own villages and the systematised vice of the plains, with their so-called higher culture. The men are apt to waste money on rubbish they see displayed in shops, and on distilled liquor for which they acquire a taste. Gangs going year after year to the same garden are paid regularly and well, but those working for petty contractors are cheated of their earnings with regrettable frequency. They cannot bring suits in the plains - the expense, the distance and the endless adjournments are all against them. When they find that Government is prevented by its own legal methods from settling their claims equitably and quickly their respect for it naturally suffers.