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: letters from Mills to Archer
caption: Archer's initial posting to the Naga Hills
medium: lettersnotes
person: Mills/ J.P.Archer/ W.G.AdamsPawsey
location: Kohima Mokokchung
date: 21.8.1946
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 10:1
text: Shillong
text: 21/8/46
text: My dear Archer,
text: H.E. has just passed final orders about your posting. He has decided to send you to Kohima first, to be attached to the D.C.'s office. Adams will be at Mokokchung for the winter and you will go there when he goes to another district in the spring (in March, I think). Adams is D.C. at Kohima now, and Pawsey takes over from him when he comes back from leave late in November or early December.
text: Kohima was completely wrecked in the war and accomodation there is still very bad. I do not think you ought to take your wife there. If you do not leave her in England, she could wait Shillong till you go to Mokokchung. We would try to make her feel she was not a stranger in a strange land, and you could pretty certainly get a spot of casual leave to come and see her.
text: From the non-domestic point of view the plan is a good one. The Naga Hills are so utterly unlike anywhere else that no one, as far as I know, has ever been posted out in the blue at Mokokchung without first doing a spell with an old hand (and Pawsey is a very old and excellent hand) at Kohima. Secondly there are now political stirrings even in the Naga Hills, and their very newness makes them delicate to handle. They are bound to affect your work a good deal, and you will see them in clearer forms from Kohima than you would from Mokokchung. Thirdly there is the tribal area with which you will have a lot to do at Mokokchung. Here personal contacts are all-important. Pretty certainly a column will have to go out in the winter, taken by Adams, to close a certain head-hunting ground. You, I think, should go with it and meet various chiefs with Adams. Nagas like one Sahib to hand on to the next, so to speak, and to meet some with Adams will be a great help. You would also find it difficult to carry on at Mokokchung until you had picked up some Assamese - or what passes for it as a lingua franca. Would you send me a line to say you have had this letter, as I told H.E. I would write to you.
text: Bring plenty of warm clothes. The evenings in the Hills are getting chilly already.
text: Yours sincerely,
text: J.P. Mills.