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: trip to Kohima
caption: Maromi Primary School
medium: diaries
location: Maromi
date: 10.8.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: 10 August. Litami.
text: Today the bridle path was like an English summer glade. The trees were dappled with sunlight and only the great cauliflower clouds showed it was the rains. We are just skirting the Sema country.
text: At Maromi the headmen and an interpreter were waiting on the road and we were asked to visit the Upper Primary school. We climbed a watercourse and the school, a pleasant building in bamboo and thatch, lay on the top. There were a hundred children present as five villages have joined together to form this school. Small children of eight or nine were using 'Acts' and 'the Gospel of St Matthew' as reading books. There are so few suitable textbooks in the Naga languages that these were all the headmaster could get. The children's handiwork had been set out on a bench for us to inspect - a depressing collection of little baskets, plain bamboo cups and clay fruit and vegetables. When one knows that the Nagas can do exciting wood carving and weave beautiful cloth, it seems that education is killing rather (36) than developing art. We asked the children to draw tigers on their slates and then we went outside to see a rather monotonous P.T. display. It was followed by a slick Sema dance. A long coil of boys moving in a spiral was swaying backwards and forwards to a chant, then at a change of tune they gave a neat stamp and a backwards slap on the buttocks with the sole of the foot. But I wished that instead of grubby shirts and shorts and blankets like pieces of sack-cloth, these Christian boys had been wearing their old Sema dress, gay baldricks and tribal aprons.
text: Then a group of Christian girls solemnly sang a kind of Celtic dirge. We were handed a translation of their song.
text: 'Oh, you are our Father, Sir,
Oh, you are our Mother, Madam,
Oh, kindly send the light where you go,
Oh, we are thank you for your visiting of our school compound,
Oh, Sir, your kind consideration are expected by our school,
Oh, Sir, please sent [sic] your supreme power,
Oh, Sir, we are desiring to have received of your glorious,
Oh, Sir and Madam, God bless you where you go
Oh, goodbye, both of you.'