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: life in Mokokchung
caption: servants
medium: diaries
person: ShoizhuZukoto
location: Mokokchung
date: 31.7.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: Of our seven Naga servants, Shoizhu, our bearer, is the chief. He is more than forty but is as small as I am, a bare five feet. He is a Christian Sema, but how deep his Christianity goes I do not know for he drinks rice-beer like a fish. To Christian Nagas this pleasant brew is a 'concoction of the devil'. He wears the most ridiculous clothes - a black alpaca coat, long khaki trousers with army boots and huge woolly socks. On cold days he airs a khaki balaclava cap and on warm ones an immense white turban like 'Little Mouk'. He has a passion for shooting and wherever he goes he takes his Jap rifle.
text: He is always accompanied by his minion, Zukoto, a sturdy good- looking Sema Christian boy, who is a kind of maid of all work.
text: Then there is the old gardener. He has worked in the bungalow for about thirty years. When we inspect the garden with him in the evenings, he shakes his head dolefully over all the plants - the fruit is never quite ripe, the rats have eaten the pineapples, the birds have pecked the plums, the rain has rotted the beans. The maize in particular is never quite ready, but today as we passed the servants' houses we noticed piles of empty cobs and sheaths littering the approaches.
text: The woodman is a servant I have never had before. No fuel is available in Mokokchung except wood, so he spends his day cutting branches in our forest and stacking them in a shed.