The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: letter from W.G. Archer to D.C. about the proposed transfer of the Konyaks to Tirap District
caption: effect of punitive expeditions in the Konyak area and lack of Government control in Wakching
medium: notes
location: Wakching
date: 30.3.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 13:8
text: III
text: This recrudescence of war seems due to a number of factors. It is now four years since any villages were burnt and thus the restraining effects which former punitive expeditions may have had have long since worn off. The presence of military outposts in the area during the war made neutrality by Government advisable but this has in turn led the Konyaks to conclude that Government approve of head taking and even desire to maintain it. When Government had sufficient force in the area but did nothing for four years, they argue that head taking has Government support. Moreover, the fact that before the war various columns themselves took heads has given further cover to the view that Government is not averse to head taking. Even more important however is the continued absence of an executive officer from Wakching, the vague and intermittant nature of control, and the substitution of casual expeditions for continuous administration. 'A column - what is the use of that?' a Konyak said to me. 'It comes and burns a village. Then it goes away. And we simply sit and laugh'. I am convinced that more than any other factor it is this which is responsible for continued warfare and we shall see no progress until our own Konyak area is formally brought under unified administration and there is an officer in Wakching itself to enforce control.