The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: Naga political consciousness prior to the formation of the Naga National Council (NNC)
medium: diaries
person: Mayang NokchaSubong AoAliba Imti
date: 18.7.1947.1946
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 18 July. Mokokchung.
text: Since our arrival the leading Aos have been coming to see us. First there was Mayang Nokcha, the alert intelligent headmaster of the Government Middle English School, a grave thoughtful Naga who starts every sentence with a puzzled frown and 'Well....' For the last twenty years he has been the recognised leader of the Nagas and is loved and respected by everyone. Then there was Subong Ao, an overseer in the Civil Works Department. Although he is dour and gentle to look at, he is full of firm and emphatic views. Lastly came Aliba Imti, the dapper young Secretary of the Naga National Council. All three are educated Christians and speak expressive English. They are full of the coming changes in India, and as we talk I am gradually coming to understand the politics of the Naga Hills. (10)
text: When the Naga National Council was formed in January 1946, the Nagas were hardly politically conscious at all. They were outside the Congress orbit and politicians never roamed the hills. They sent no representatives to the Assam Assembly. A few individuals traded with the towns and every winter bands of villagers went striding down to the plains to sell rice in the bazaars and to purchase salt in exchange. But no plainsmen came to the hills. The only Government they knew was British - the Deputy Commissioner who sat in his little house at Kohima or went toiling over the hills, and the Sub-Divisional Officer (the S.D.O.) who moved about the Mokokchung subdivision and helped the Nagas administer themselves. The Government was British in name but everything about it was Naga.