The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter twenty. The Land and the People
caption: colonisation by the British; Kuki settlements
medium: books
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Then, in the early nineteenth century, the British and the immigrant Kukis arrived almost together. For the first time the Zemi came under another's control. They had so far successfully resisted attempts at immigration into their territory; the second Zemi wave, that driven out by Angami pressure, had been deflected past the Barail and on to the emptier western plateau.
text: When the Kukis settled the fallow land, the Zemi protested to the administration. But no officer had an inkling that a cycle-migration system existed (the Zemi are still the only Nagas known to have one) and the Zemi were incapable of explaining. The tracts of land they claimed seemed to the Government fantastically large; the authorities concluded that the Zemi had abandoned their ancient sites and were taking a dog-in-the-manger line. To the Zemis' rage and dismay, their protests were overruled. Their claims were disallowed; and all that they were not currently occupying was awarded to the newly-come Kukis. Only the Zemi knew that two tribes were now living on land enough for one.