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 about the future of the Konyaks
medium: lettersnotes
person: Mills/ J.P.Archer/ W.G.Furer-Haimendorf/ ChristophPawseyRau/ B.N. <SirHydari
ethnicgroup: KonyakSangtamSema
location: Wakching Tirap F.T. Joboka Namsang Borduria Kohima
date: 14.4.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 17:20
text: Shillong 14/4/47
text: My dear Archer,
text: Many thanks for you nice fat letter of March 21st. I'm so glad you enjoyed your Konyak tour. There's no doubt Christoph made himself loved wherever he went.
text: H.E. has cancelled his orders putting the Wakching area under Tirap. I fully appreciate the feelings of the Wakchingites, but it will make things difficult. The plan was to put a Central officer at Wakching, as we are all agreed is desirable, and he was to run the administered and tribal area. Now if a man goes there he will only be able to run the administered area, for the tribal area is likely to remain Central. And the man himself is likely to be run by the Naga National Council, who could never act as the Centre's agent for a tribal area they do not cover. And bang too goes the scheme to put all Konyaks under the same administration.
text: Of course Wakching has never heard of Tirap. But Wakching has heard of Joboka, Joboka has heard of Namsang and Borduria (not your Namsang), and they have heard of Tirap all right and are run by the P.O. Tirap will probaby be run by a European for some years to come, while Kohima will presumably be under a Bengali or Assamese, aided by the N.N.C. Wakching has chosen the latter, so there it is. On the whole I think its a pity, but I was not consulted before the orders were reversed. If Assam puts a Bengali Assistant at Wakching I do not agree that he should move about as he wishes in the tribal area.
text: I have just had your report to Pawsey about headhunting. According to India's present view it concerns P.O. Tirap in theory, though the Naga Hills may have to deal with these matters. (I doubt if the Centre will readily reverse their orders and put the tribal Konyaks under the Naga Hills).
text: The whole thing bristles with difficulties and it looks as if a conference will have to be held.
text: I had a long talk with Sir B.N. Rau this morning. He is Constitutional Advisor to the Constituent Assembly. He told me that no constitutional plan could be forced on any tribal area without the consent of the inhabitants. (This is what Caroe said to the big jirge on the N.W.F. recently). They take this to mean that the Sangtams and transfrontier Semas can come fully into the N.N. district if they want to, as they probably will, while the Konyaks can remain completely independant if they want to - again as they probably will. You might bear this in mind before you make any long-term proposals for control. It is no good screwing down a stopper now and unscrewing in on July 1st 1948.
text: Rau also told me that all tribal areas will probably come under the Centre, as being concerned with defence. They will also probably remain under European officers for a considerable time - that is what Hydari wants - and it therefore looks as if there will be jobs going ... Philip Mills